Prime Minister David Cameron has claimed that a Labour victory in next week’s mayoral election would see London used as a testing ground for Jeremy Corbyn’s “dangerous experiment”.
Over the past few months Conservative mayoral runner Zac Goldsmith has sought to portray Labour rival Sadiq Khan as “Jeremy Corbyn’s candidate” in a bid to damage Mr Khan’s mainstream credentials and associate him in voters’ minds with his party’s left-wing leader.
The Tooting MP was one of those who nominated Mr Corbyn for the Labour leadership last summer and has since told LBC that he would do so again.
Despite weeks of attacks on Mr Khan’s character, including attempts to link him to “extremists”, the Labour contender remains ahead in opinion polls and is widely expected to beat Mr Goldsmith and come London’s third directly elected mayor.
Today Mr Cameron warned voters: “If Corbyn wins in London next week he is one step closer to carrying out his dangerous experiment on the country.”
He added: “Everyone who cares about jobs, common sense ideas and the future of our country has an interest in stopping Corbyn’s march.
“If London sleepwalks into electing Jeremy Corbyn’s candidate the whole country will pay the price.”
The PM’s comments come a week after he used to Prime Minister’s Questions to attack Mr Khan for sharing platforms with extremists “time and again”.
Mr Khan says that on each of the occasions in question he was appearing in his capacity as a “leading Human Rights lawyer” and has never condoned any “extremist” view.
Campaign aides also point to his liberal voting record, including his backing for gay rights, a stance which led to threats against Mr Khan by some members of the muslim community.
Mr Goldsmith used today’s visit to restate his pledge to deliver 500 additional BTP officers for the Tube which he says could be funded by axing free travel of TfL staff partners and spouses.
He said: “‘London needs a Mayor who will back those who keep our city safe, which is why I’ll protect police numbers and put an extra 500 police officers on the tube.”
Backing his candidate’s campaign, Mr Cameron said: “Zac Goldsmith is the man with the plan to ensure Londoners benefit from the City’s success.
“Anyone who has taken a train into the capital knows that London needs Zac Goldsmith’s plan to back transport investment.
“By working with my Government and keeping London’s economy strong, he can deliver on his commitments. He’ll do it all while freezing mayoral council tax for everyone in London.”
Londoners will elect a new Mayor and the 25 members of the London Assembly on May 5th. Candidates for Mayor include Conservative Zac Goldsmith, Labour’s Sadiq Khan, Liberal Democrat Caroline Pidgeon, the Green party’s Sian Berry and UKIP’s Peter Whittle.