Sadiq Khan questioned on London crime rate in 2019
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And David Bull has bemoaned the current state of the capital, which he believes must be reopened completely to enable its economy to get back on its feet – warning thousands of jobs were at stake. Mr Bull, the deputy leader of the Reform Party, is standing for the Greater London Assembly in the City and East Ward.
Assessing the performance of Labour’s Mr Khan, who has been London’s Mayor since 2016, he told Express.co.uk: “The fact is, he’s been hopeless.
“We need more police officers on the street, fewer police officers doing paperwork and his record on knife crime is appalling.
“London is not the safe place that it was when I went there at 18.
“I think Sadiq Khan now feels pretty much invincible and that is never good for any politician. And he needs to be held to account.”
Mr Bull, who was one of 29 Brexit Party candidates elected in 2019, and who also stood for the party in Sedgefield in the general election of later that year, is also deeply concerned by Mr Khan’s plans to expand the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).
He said: “That is going to completely hit the poorest families and those people who have to drive into central London.
“And that’s been brought in, without consultation to Londoners. Did they ever get asked ‘do you want this?’ Well, the answer is a resounding no they don’t.”
Mr Bull added: “Covid has been really I suppose a great cover for many organisations to get away with all sorts of things and what they did in London was they brought in these low traffic neighbourhoods.
“What it’s done is it has divided communities. It’s slowed down the response times of emergency vehicles and people are not happy, and people pay council tax and are law-abiding citizens and don’t expect to have draconian rules enforced upon them.”
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Mr Bull also fears the impact prolonged coronavirus restrictions are having on London, especially its hospitality trade.
He said: “The first thing we’ve got to do is reopen London. I’ve never seen London, looking like it needs help more than it does now.
“All these small shops that are going out of business, the fact is, people are losing their jobs, we’ve lost tourism, there’s nothing left.
“What worries me desperately is as those companies struggle which they are doing, how many of those office workers actually come back? What does that actually do to the long term plan for London.”
Mr Bull believes the UK’s impressive vaccine rollout has offered the capital a golden opportunity to get back to something approaching normality.
He explained: “When you look at the figures, and I’ve been banging on about this for weeks and months, now that we’ve immunised something like 34 million people with their first vaccine and 13 million with their second vaccine and now we know that it obviously curbs transmission, what on earth are we doing?
“We really desperately need to reopen London and the stories I’ve heard whilst I’ve been campaigning in the City and the east is heartbreaking.
“We’ve got pubs that literally are on their last legs and now they can serve outside.
“They can’t possibly serve the numbers they need to do to actually make those businesses viable.”
He added: “Small businesses have really struggled throughout all of this and then also on the high streets in London you’ve seen all the shops boarded up.
“It looks like we’ve been through some sort of Armageddon.
“When you speak to people, they just feel the two major parties are ignoring them.
“You’ve got the Conservative Party the set out this this timetable to reopen, which, regardless of how well the vaccination process is doing, they’re still sticking rigidly to.
“But surely the point about data is that the data should inform your decision-making process?”
A spokewoman for London Labour said: “Despite massive cuts to the Met Police budget which were overseen by the Tory candidate, Sadiq Khan has invested more than £1bn in keeping London safe.
“This election is a close two-horse race between Sadiq and the Tories. If re-elected he will continue to be tough on crime and tough on its complex causes.”
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