Who Wants To Be A London Mayor? All The Runners And Riders Trying To Beat Sadiq

Khan's predecessors Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson served two terms as mayor of London.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan
HuffPost UK / Getty

The next election for the mayor of London will take place on Thursday, May 2, 2024.

It is a powerful position to hold, overseeing Britain’s largest police force and a total budget of £19.2 billion.

London is considered a Labour city and the Tories face a tough national picture after last year’s political meltdown and a drubbing at the local elections.

But a number of factors are at play in the capital and the Conservative candidates hope to capitalise on criticism of the incumbent’s green policies.

Sadiq Khan’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone [Ulez] is due to be extended to cover the whole capital from August 29, expanding to the borders of Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey.

Thousands more people whose cars do not meet pollutant limits will face a ÂŁ12.50 daily charge or a ÂŁ180 fine. Critics argue the measure hits struggling households, isolates the elderly and hits the economy.

Another dynamic to bear in mind is the capital’s so-called “doughnut” where the outer boroughs have been traditionally Tory while the inner boroughs staunchly Labour.

Focusing on this helped Boris Johnson secure the keys to London’s city hall, but the capital’s political landscape is changing with outer areas turning towards Labour.

Khan has already served two terms and if he wins a third, it will be a first for the capital.

His predecessors, Ken Livingstone and Johnson, both served two terms.

While the election usually comes down to a two horse race between Labour and the Tories, smaller parties are also fielding challengers who will pressure both sides.

Sadiq Khan - Labour

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
Victoria Jones - PA Images via Getty Images

Sadiq Khan is standing for an unprecedented third term. The former Labour MP was first elected in May 2016 following a heated race against former Tory MP Zac Goldsmith.

During his time in city hall, the staunch Remainer has taken on everyone from Donald Trump to former Met Police commissioner Cressida Dick.

He also guided the capital through the pandemic as Londoners were particularly hard hit, often pushing the government to act faster.

The mayor recently celebrated after reaching his target of work having started on 20,000 new council homes across the capital - although critics accused him of marking his own homework.

While a popular green policy with some, expect the Tories to gun for Ulez which has proved hugely controversial with those dependent on their cars.

Four Tory London councils and Surrey Council are pursuing legal action in a bit to stop its expansion.

But will this be enough to topple the mayor who won 55.2% of the popular vote in 2021. The vote was a run-off with Khan’s Tory rival Shaun Bailey after neither managed to secure a majority in the first round of voting.

Paul Scully - Conservative

Minister for London and Conservative MP for Sutton and Cheam Paul Scully
Minister for London and Conservative MP for Sutton and Cheam Paul Scully
Richard Townshend/UK Parliament via PA Media

Paul Scully is a well known figure in Westminster, elected as a Tory MP in a south London constituency in 2015.

He quickly rose up through the ranks and currently serves as minister for London as well as the minister for tech.

The MP for Sutton and Cheam has promised to “switch off” the Ulez expansion cameras on day one of getting into office.

He has also called for the tourist tax - a 20% sales levy charged to all non-British visitors - to be scrapped.

Nick Rogers, a Conservative on the London Assembly, dropped out of the race to be chosen as candidate and has rowed in behind Scully.

Zoë Garbett - Green

Zoë Garbett
Zoë Garbett
Green Party

Zoë Garbett is the nominated Green Party candidate, currently serving as a councillor in hipster haven Dalston, in east London.

She is the leader of the Green group in Hackney and came second in the borough’s 2022′s mayoral race.

She works in a non-clinical role in the NHS helping to reduce health inequalities and says she is not afraid to “stand up for people when I see injustice”.

Garbett has campaigned against the use of stop and search powersand joined striking workers on picket lines. The councillor has promised to listen to Londoners and make the changes that the capital’s population want.

Andrew Boff - Conservative

London Assembly member Andrew Boff
London Assembly member Andrew Boff
GB News

Libertarian Andrew Boff is no stranger to London’s mayoral race having attempted to run in every election except 2012 when Johnson stood for his second term.

He is currently the deputy chair of the London Assembly and a former leader of Hillingdon Council.

Boff is a well-known figure on the Assembly, first elected in 2008 as a London-wide member.

He holds a number of liberal views in contrast to many of his Tory colleagues which include the legalisation of cannabis, decriminalising street prostitution and self-identification for trans people.

Duwayne Brooks - Conservative

Duwayne Brooks
Duwayne Brooks
JOHN STILLWELL via Getty Images

Duwayne Brooks is a former Liberal Democrat councillor in Lewisham south east London and has declared his intention to stand as the Tory mayoral candidate.

Brooks was with Stephen Lawrence on April 22, 1993, waiting for a bus when they were attacked by racist thugs.

Stephen was stabbed a number of times, bleeding to death before the arrival of the emergency services. Brooks was initially treated as a suspect.

He wants to see reading groups for schoolchildren, a debating competition across schools, compulsory first aid training, social media communications and plans to fix problems of crime, racism, education.

He also wants to make sweeping changes to the Metropolitan Police Service, telling the Guardian: “Trust and confidence in the Met has never been so low.”

Susan Hall - Conservative

London Assembly member Susan Hall
London Assembly member Susan Hall
Sky News

Susan Hall is another big player on the London Assembly having been a member since 2017 and, until recently, Conservative leader of the assembly.

She is a councillor in Harrow, greater London, where she was previously leader of the council.

In her pitch for city hall, the councillor is calling for the Met to have a dedicated burglary unit to help it move away from “woke nonsense”.

She argues officers need to get back to basics and operate a “common sense” approach to policing.

Samuel Kasumu - Conservative

Samuel Kasumu
Samuel Kasumu

Samuel Kasumu is a Tory councillor in Welwyn Hatfield borough council in the commuter belt close to London.

He previously served as a special adviser to Johnson when he was prime minister.

In his resignation letter, he warned that progress made by the Conservative Party under David Cameron in 2015 with Black and Asian communities had been destroyed.

He has won the backing of energy secretary Grant Shapps, Northern Ireland office minister Steve Baker and former home secretary Priti Patel.

Kasumu, who grew up in Barnet in north London, has promised to allow boroughs affected by the Ulez expansion to have a vote on whether to remain in the zone.

Alex Challoner - Conservative

Alex Challoner
Alex Challoner
Alex Challoner

Businessman Alex Challoner has worked in the housing sector for more than 20 years.

He has thrown his hat in the ring to become the next Tory candidate for mayor with a plan to solve the capital’s housing crisis by building 50,000 new, affordable homes.

Challoner’s team say he already has the backing of several Tory MPs, including former cabinet minister Robert Buckland and Jackie Doyle Price.

He wants developers to put forward a 15% infrastructure levy on developments upfront, to help build five new communities in consultation with councils in the capital - each with at least 10,000 homes.

Daniel Korski - Conservative

Daniel Korski
Daniel Korski
John Phillips via Getty Images

Daniel Korski has also declared he wishes to be the next Tory candidate for mayor. He is a tech entrepreneur and served as deputy head of policy to David Cameron when he was prime minister.

He is also a former war correspondent in Libya and has spent time in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq, and most recently Kyiv.

Korski has vowed to scrap the Ulez expansion and said it was time for an “outsider” to be given the chance to defeat Khan next May.

The Sun reported that some red traffic lights could be switched off in the capital between 10pm and 7am if Korski was made mayor.

Instead, amber flashing lights managed by sensors would “ease the flow of traffic”.

Howard Cox - Reform UK

Howard Cox - Reform UK
Howard Cox - Reform UK
GB News

Howard Cox founded FairFuel UK - a campaign group against hydrocarbon oil duty increases.

He has been selected to run for Reform UK which was formerly the Brexit Party and formed by ex-Ukip leader Nigel Farage.

Cox has gone one step further than many of the candidates and promised to scrap Ulez altogether - not just Khan’s expansion.

He has also promised to abolish Low Traffic Neighbourhoods [LTNs] across the capital, as well as reducing crime and boosting the number of homes built.

Rumoured Potentials

Former leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn
Former leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn
Leon Neal via Getty Images

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is being encouraged by allies to run for mayor of London, as exclusively revealed by HuffPost UK.

He could stand as an independent against Khan after being blocked from running as MP for the Labour party in his Islington North constituency.

It is certainly possible for an independent candidate to make it as mayor after Livingstone won the election in 2000 after failing to gain the Labour candidate vote.

Other names being bandied about include former Tory cabinet ministers Kit Malthouse and Justine Greening as well as TV barrister Rob Rinder and Apprentice star Baroness Brady.


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