Launching his full election manifesto in Wandsworth this morning, Zac Goldsmith pledged to “secure 500,000 new jobs” if he’s elected to replace Boris Johnson as Mayor next month.
Goldsmith said the jobs would be created both through his commitment to build 50,000 homes a year and his promise to “protect transport investment” from the “£1.9 billion black hole” he claims would be created by Labour rival Sadiq Khan’s pledge to freeze fares.
The Tory mayoral hopeful said: “Under Boris we have recovered from Labour’s Great Recession, and my Action Plan for Greater London will build on that success and secure half a million more jobs for Londoners.
“You can only deal with transport congestion, build houses and improve London if you keep the economy strong. That’s why the Khan-Corbyn experiment, with the promise of council tax hikes and a £1.9 billion black hole, would be so damaging for London.”
Goldsmith was joined at the event by Mr Johnson who is becoming an increasingly common sight on the campaign trail as the Tories seek to capitalise on his popularity.
Johnson, who is stepping down after 8 years at City Hall, said: “In the Labour Party of Corbyn and Khan, who want to abolish the City of London, take over the Bank of England and raise taxes, London’s businesses face their most serious threat.
“Zac Goldsmith is the man standing in the way of this dangerous divisive Corbyn/Khan ideological experiment, an experiment that threatens business, and with it the very jobs and growth essential to London’s future prosperity.”
Speaking to journalists after the event Mr Goldsmith found himself facing a fresh round of questions about the tone and nature of his campaign which Labour has described as “bleak and desperate” and “racist”.
Asked by one journalist whether he was “a racist,” Goldsmith said the suggestion was “absurd” and insisted his campaign had been “overwhelmingly positive.”
He added: “Every piece of literature that I’ve put out has been about my action plan for London, it’s about more homes, better transport, safer streets and cleaner air.”
Goldsmith also insisted he had “sought to reach out to all communities in London” and dismissed as “untrue” suggestions that he had failed to solicit the support of Pakistani Londoners, highlighting visit he’s made to mosques over the past few months.
He said there were “no no-go areas” for his campaign and that he felt a “huge responsibility” to win the election.
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.