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Less than one week left until the 2021 London Election 

Less than one week left until the 2021 London Election 
30.04.2021
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There is less than one week left until Londoners head to the polls on 6 May to elect a mayor plus 25 London Assembly members.

The election was meant to take place in May last year but was postponed due to the pandemic.

Normally, elections take place every four years.

There are more than six million people in London are registered to vote, many of the voters have been encouraged to apply for postal voting ahead of the election this year (The postal voting applications deadline closed at 5 pm on April 20).

Voters can pick a first and a second preference for Mayor.  The candidates with least votes are knocked out and their second preferences allocated to the others, until someone gets a clear majority of votes.

Londoners will also be given a ballot for their local London Assembly Member, here they will be able to vote for just one candidate, there are 14 members across London. 

The third ballot for London-wide Assembly Member will mean voter can choose one party, a total of 11 members make up the London-Wide Assembly. Seats won by parties are allocated to party candidates in the order they appeared on the relevant party’s list of candidates.

Labour has listed Emine Ibrahim as 4th on the London-Wide list, if her seat is won a seat this would make her the first member of a London Cypriot diaspora to have been elected.

Who is running to be London’s next Mayor?

A total of 20 candidates are standing for mayor this year. Labour’s Sadiq Khan is hoping to win a second term, his main rival, Conservative Shaun Bailey has been trailing in the polls, with a recent poll putting him 13 points behind Labour’s Mr Khan.

Labour: Sadiq Khan 

Formerly MP for Tooting from 2005, Sadiq Khan was elected mayor in 2016 Before entering politics, he worked as a human rights lawyer and chaired the Liberty advocacy group.  His major policies as mayor have included a freeze on transport fares, introducing the Hopper bus fare with unlimited journeys in one hour and expanding charges on polluting vehicles.

Conservative: Shaun Bailey 

Shaun Bailey started out as a Youth work later moving into politics and up into the conservative party. In 2012 he was appointed as special advisor to David Cameron on youth and crime issues. In 2016 he was elected to the London Assembly. His main policies include hiring 8,000 more police officers, cutting council tax, and building 100,000 new homes.

Liberal Democrat: Luisa Porritt 

A journalist, communications consultant and political advisor, Luisa Porritt joined the Liberal Democrats days after the Brexit referendum in 2016 and in 2018 was elected a councillor in Camden. A year later she was elected to the European Parliament for the London constituency and became the Liberal Democrats’ deputy leader in Brussels briefly before the UK left the EU in 2020. She won the party’s nomination after their initial candidate for London mayor – Geeta Sidhu-Robb – was suspended following allegations of antisemitism. She describes her priorities as more homes, cleaner air and better jobs for Londoners.

GreenParty: Sian Berry

This is Sian Berry’s third bid for London mayor after failed runs in 2008 and 2016,  berry is the co-leader of the Green Party since 2018.  She has been a local councillor in Camden since 2014, and is also a member of the London Assembly. Her pledges include reversing cuts to youth services, declaring a climate emergency in London, and strengthening protections for renters.

UKIP: Peter Gammons 

The UK Independence Party candidate Peter Gammons says his party is not just about Brexit but restoring power to the people. He grew up on a council estate and claims to be a political centrist who can represent all Londoners. An evangelical preacher, motivational speaker and entrepreneur, Mr Gammons also claims he has spoken at events around the world to crowds numbering in the millions and has “advised” prime ministers and presidents, as well as acting as a faith healer. His policies include increasing police numbers, opening more local police stations, stopping bike lanes and Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, and more affordable housing.

Independent: Farah London 

Farah London has spent most of her career working in the insurance industry. She is also the founder and chief executive of several small businesses, and has volunteered with charities working in mental health, social justice and homelessness. She said she decided to stand as a non-political independent candidate as a result of Covid, and her pledges include championing London as a tech hub, cutting the Congestion Charge, and prioritising animal welfare.

Women’s Equality Party: Mandu Reid 

Mandu Reid is the leader of the Women’s Equality Party and the first black person and bisexual to lead a political party in the UK. She has previously worked as a civil servant in the Treasury, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and finally the Greater London Authority under previous mayors. Her priorities are to end violence against women, ensure affordable childcare for all, and invest in a “care-led recovery”.

Independent: Niko Omilana 

A YouTuber with nearly 3.5million subscribers, Niko Omilana is a 23-year-old whose channel is normally focused on pranks and challenges. The influencer announced he was running for mayor earlier this month, describing himself as the “founding father and supreme leader of the Niko Defence League”. His main policy would be to tell Boris Johnson to “shush” but in a recent poll five per cent of Londoners said they would vote for him, placing him narrowly behind the Green and Liberal Democrat candidates.

Renew: Kam Balayev 

Renew is a centrist political party founded in 2017 in opposition to Brexit and announced Kam Balayev as its candidate for London mayor in 2020. He has crowdfunded donations to run his campaign, which revolves around building a new tech economy in London.  His policies include rebranding the capital as “e-London” to attract new jobs, reclaim money made from Londoners by Big Tech firms overseas, and to freeze TfL fares.

Independent: Max Fosh 

Max Fosh is a YouTuber with 419,000 subscribers, he is running largely as a prank, claiming in his announcement video there should always be at least one “posh bloke” on the ballot paper and that his main aim was to get more votes than Laurence Fox. Mr Fosh’s YouTube videos often revolve around pranks, most famously when he parked a car outside BBC Radio 1 HQ with his CV emblazoned in huge type on the roof in an effort to get a job at the station. His manifesto, which is published on a website using the URL laurencefox.org, includes carpeting the M25, making every carriage on the DLR the front carriage, and filling the Thames with sparkling water.

Rejoin EU: Richard Hewison

Richard Hewison is standing under a simple banner of re-joining the European Union. He is open about his belief that Sadiq Khan will comfortably win re-election as mayor, but is urging Londoners to vote for him with their first preference as a protest against Brexit, while then using their second preference to choose a more credible candidate.

Independent: Nims Obunge 

Nims Obunge is the senior pastor at the Tottenham-based church Freedom’s Ark and is also a financial adviser, governor of a further education college, and chief executive of the Peace Alliance, a charity tackling violent crime. He is a regular on London boards and committees, especially those addressing knife crime and youth services, and also started the London Week of Peace. His manifeso includes recruiting more community police officers, building more homes, creating a Covid business recovery fund, and pushing for a greener city with electric transport.

 Social Democrat Party; Steven Kelleher 

Standing on behalf of the rump party which refused to merge with the Liberals in the late 1980s, Steven Kelleher works in recruitment in the City, is a volunteer cricket coach and father of five. His policies include building 50,000 new council houses, boosting police numbers by 10,000 officers, and making public transport free to the under-25s.

AnimalWelfare Party: Vanessa Hudson  

The leader of the Animal Welfare Party since 2010, Vanessa Hudson worked as a producer in the media industry, has been a vegan for 26 years, and was a founding member of Vegan Runners UK. Her policies include aiming for London to be carbon net zero by 2045, promoting plant-based diets, and expanding London’s biodiversity.

Independent:Count Binface 

The satirical candidate is back, fresh from standing against Boris Johnson at the 2019 general election. Played by 41-year-old comedian Jon Harvey, Count Binface is a self-proclaimed interplanetary space warrior from Sigma Quadrant, who has crowdfunded his run for City Hall online. Among his manifesto pledges are the renaming of London Bridge as Phoebe Waller Bridge, London rejoining the EU, and ensuring no croissant is sold in the capital for more than £1.

Heritage Party:David Kurten 

A former chemistry teacher, David Kurten has been a member of the London Assembly since 2016. He was elected as a UKIP candidate but last year he left the party and founded his own Heritage Party, which focused on socially conservative policies. He has campaigned against the Covid lockdowns and has spread false conspiracy theories about coronavirus vaccines. His policies include reopening all London businesses as normal, taking out cycle lanes, and defending free speech.

London Real Party- Brian Rose 

Brian Rose has run the London Real YouTube and podcast channel since 2011. The Camden resident says he had spent more than £1m of his own money funding his campaign, and his promises include abolishing the Congestion Charge, 250 new community centres, a 31-day festival to get London working again, and ending the “war on the commuter”.

Let London Live- Piers Corbyn 

The older brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is running as the candidate for Let London Live, another anti-lockdown movement. He has more recently been at the front of promoting untrue conspiracy theories about Covid and vaccines. He is currently facing charges over breaching lockdowns to hold protests in London. His policies include ending all lockdowns, opposing vaccine passports and stopping the extension of the Ultra Low Emission Zone.

 Burning Pink: Valerie Brown

Valerie Brown is running to be the last mayor of London, pledging to abolish the post in favour of legally binding citizens assemblies if she is elected. She is standing for the Burning Pink party, whose goal is to launch a revolution to tackle the climate crisis by superseding traditional politics. Ms Brown is closely linked with Extinction Rebellion and last week was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage after she was involved in a protest against HSBC’s investment in fossil fuels which smashed the bank’s windows. Burning Pink have regularly doused other party’s headquarters and council buildings in pink paint to protest their inaction in tackling climate change.

The Reclaim Party- Laurence Fox 

Actor Laurence Fox known for his most famous role was as Detective Sergeant James Hathaway in Lewis, the ITV spinoff from Inspector Morse. He has hit the headlines attacking the presence of Sikh soldiers in a World War One drama, boycotting Sainsburys over their response to Black Lives Matter and more recently encouraging people to not wear masks or abide by lockdown rules. His manifesto promises to “unlock” London, stop plans to remove controversial statues, tackle knife crime with tougher policing, and stand up for freedom of speech.

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