Wednesday morning saw the first London Assembly Question Time for new Mayor Sadiq Khan. The session lasts for up to two and half hours and has always been an ordeal for Mayors.
The Mayor of London was challenged by Assembly Members on several pledges made in his election manifesto and throughout his campaign. But when asked to confirm or clarify key policies on housing, transport, policing and the green belt, the Mayor was forced to row back.
A well connected Westminster type tells me that ministers are considering moving the date of the next Mayor of London election from May 2020 to avoid Sadiq Khan’s re-election bid clashing with the general election.
Sadiq Khan has overtaken two serious, credible rivals to secure one of the most spectacular personal political victories in British politics. It’s a shame more people weren’t up to see it.
The Silvertown Tunnel is sold as instant congestion relief but new roads have an irritating habit of generating new traffic and the tunnel would worsen jams at other bottlenecks on both sides of the Thames.
Sensible people offer notes of caution on why the polls’ predictions may not come true and Team Sadiq are wisely taking nothing for granted, but the most probable outcome does seem to be a Khan victory.
The big news from yesterday’s YouGov poll was Sadiq Khan’s 16 point lead over Zac Goldsmith in the mayoral race but there’s another, pretty much unreported, finding contained within the full tables – UKIP looks set to become the third largest party on the London Assembly.
If you want to see how Cameron’s ‘blitz’ on ‘sink estates’ will play out in London you need look no further than Barnet where some of the largest-scale regeneration and development has been taking place.