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An autumnal tree by City Hall on the banks of the Thames, London.
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Election watch: crime manifestos, rent control and Wrestlemania

Eddy Frankel

The London mayoral election is on May 5. What have the candidates been up to this week?

As the race for City Hall heats up, Sadiq Khan appears to have pulled further into the lead. Depending on which poll you’re looking at, the Labour candidate is either eight or ten points ahead of nearest rival Zac Goldsmith. Voters apparently like his housing policies, his proposed fare-freeze, his cheeky smile and the fact that you can turn his name into any number of punny slogans,like:‘He’s the ideal Khandidate’, ‘He’s a political Khanivore’ and ‘At least he’s not a total Khant.’

Speaking of Sadiq’s approach to housing, it has emerged that he took campaign donations from a property firm that was prosecuted for breaching tenant safety rules and ‘putting tenants’ lives at risk’. Khan has repeatedly put solving the housing crisis and clamping down on rogue landlords at the forefront of his agenda, so this is a little like Peta being sponsored by the Canadian Union of Baby Seal Destroyers, or Nigel Farage investing in Belgo. Perhaps he should be more... Khandid?

It wasn’t a great week for Goldsmith either. In a BBC interview that took place in the back of a cab (because, you know, London) the Conservative candidate was asked who plays at Loftus Road. You could almost see his mind race through the names of all his favourite local polo teams before drawing an inevitable and slightly embarrassing blank. Queen’s Park Rangers, in case you’re wondering. He also failed on basic tube knowledge and didn’t know where the Museum of London was. It’s in the Barbican. Which, if Sadiq wins, may soon be renamed the Barbikhan. See? Snappy.

In other Tory candidate news, Goldsmith announced his crime manifesto this week. Disappointingly, this isn’t his first step towards becoming London’s greatest supervillain, because a crime manifesto is apparently a politician’s policies for stopping crime, not committing it. Missed opportunity, if you ask us.

The Greens’ Sian Berry, meanwhile, announced plans to introduce rent controls, should she take the mayoral throne. We totally love the idea, but she’s currently lagging behind everyone except for George Galloway in the polls – a bit like me promising my editor that I’ll finish this article tonight, knowing full well I’m about to go to the pub: nice idea, never going to happen.

Over in the Lib Dem camp, candidate Caroline Pidgeon said in a Twitter Q&A that she’d be open to the idea of WrestleMania coming to the UK. Heady times in Lib Dem world.

Register to vote by Apr 18.


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