Sadiq Khan has launched his bid for a second term as Mayor of London, citing housing, violent crime and air quality as his three priorities.
Kicking off his campaign in a housing estate in Hackney, the Labour incumbent told talkRADIO that the government “refused to give us the support we need” to tackle crime.
Mr Khan claimed that he had made progress over his first tenure as mayor of the capital, despite the nationwide rise in violence.
He hailed his own success in increasing council tax to support the police and establishing a violent crime taskforce but insisted he was “not complacent at all”.
“It’s hugely distressing when you meet a bereaved family and I meet many bereaved families and it’s the one issue that keeps me up at night but it’s really important that we deal with this issue.”
Mr Khan also called on the government to reverse cuts made to policing and youth services, adding “you’ve got to be tough on crime and tough on its causes too”.
On housing, the candidate branded the upcoming election as a “referendum on rent controls”.
“I’ve been concerned for some time by the housing crisis in our city,” he told talkRADIO.
“What I’m saying to the government is it’s time that you devolved to London the powers to control rents, and what I’m saying to Londoners is the more of you that vote for me, the bigger my win, the bigger mandate I have to ask the government to respect the democratic will of the people.”
Under his proposals, Mr Khan would establish a “London private rent commission”, with renters on its board, to enforce measures controlling rents as prices spiral in the capital.
Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey accused the mayor of “chasing quick headlines” rather than “doing his day job”.
Despite Labour labelling the contest a "two-horse race" between Mr Khan and Mr Bailey, Rory Stewart is also running as an independent, Green Party co-leader Sian Berry is running for her party and Siobhan Benita for the Liberal Democrats.
The London mayoral election will take place on May 7.
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