UK

Susan Hall tells Sadiq Khan ‘nobody believes you anymore’ in mayoral debate

Mr Khan and Ms Hall appeared alongside the Lib Dems and Green Party candidates Rob Blackie and Zoe Garbett to answer questions on a series of issues.

Ms Hall pledged to continue universal free school meals in primary schools if elected
Ms Hall pledged to continue universal free school meals in primary schools if elected (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

Conservative mayoral candidate Susan Hall has told mayor of London Sadiq Khan that “nobody believes you any more” as they exchanged political blows during a radio debate.

The mayor responded to the claims by saying he was “not in the pocket” of his party leader.

Ahead of the London mayoral election next week, Mr Khan and Ms Hall appeared alongside the Lib Dems and Green Party candidates Rob Blackie and Zoe Garbett to answer questions from callers on a number of issues.

Mr Khan is seeking a historic third term in office, having first been elected in 2016.

Asked about affordable housing during the LBC debate on Tuesday, Mr Khan said he would fund 6,000 rent-control homes and 40,000 council homes and provide free legal advice to tenants.

Ms Hall said rent control would not work because of high rental costs, and that the problem was a lack of housing being built.

Sadiq Khan highlighted his record on building affordable housing and reducing rough sleeping
Sadiq Khan highlighted his record on building affordable housing and reducing rough sleeping (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

She said: “All you ever do, Sadiq, is throw numbers out there that when people try and analyse them and look into them, you then throw another load of numbers out there.

“Nobody believes you any more because you don’t deliver.”

Put to him by presenter Tom Swarbrick that Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer disagrees with him on rent control, Mr Khan said: “Unlike the Tory candidate, I will stand up to the Labour leader and a Conservative leader.

“It’s really important you’ve got a mayor that is a champion and advocate for the city, not in the pocket of the leader of their party.”

The mayoral candidates of the four leading parties appeared at the LBC debate
The mayoral candidates of the four leading parties appeared at the LBC debate (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

Hall said she had been campaigning with party leader Rishi Sunak in Kensington last month, and that the Prime Minister fully backed her campaign.

Other issues aired by callers included help for struggling families with the cost of living and rough sleeping.

Mr Khan promised to extend universal free school meals in primary schools permanently, while Ms Hall said she would continue the policy as mayor despite previously suggesting the idea was wrong.

Put to him that rough sleeping had increased by 71% since 2016, Mr Khan said the issue “breaks my heart” but that there was “a conveyor belt of new people” coming on to London’s streets, a comment subsequently called out by Ms Garbett and Ms Hall.

Asked about the ultra low emission zone (Ulez), Ms Hall said the mayor’s own impact assessment had “showed him it would make virtually no difference at all”.

Zoe Garbett said she would provide free bus passes to asylum seekers if elected
Zoe Garbett said she would provide free bus passes to asylum seekers if elected (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

A strong advocate of scrapping the scheme, she refused to spell out where the £200 million in revenue that Ulez brings would instead come from, saying it was “a long, complicated mix”.

Mr Khan said: “I’m not going to apologise at all for cleaning up the air in our city.”

Pressed on his comments in 2021 that Ulez did not need to be expanded, Mr Khan said the World Health Organisation had changed their guidelines on air toxicity levels.

Ms Hall said that the mayor would bring in pay-per-mile charging for vehicles in London and described his policy record as “absolutely abysmal”.

The mayor described Ms Hall as the “most dangerous candidate I have fought against” after she said she had “learnt” from a series of unsavoury social media posts she made about her political rival.

When asked about the Metropolitan Police, all four candidates said they had confidence in Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley amid recent calls for him to resign.

Mr Khan said he thought the Met was ahead of other police services across the country and praised Sir Mark for “making remarkable progress”.

Ms Hall disagreed and said London was in “a very serious situation”, and that she had been told by those working in the night-time economy about “gangs running around with machetes”.

The mayor said: “I think the Tory candidate should stop watching The Wire.”