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For years I have scrutinised Sadiq Khan from the London Assembly, and watched as he has held back vital funding for our law enforcement.
It’s the same old story with Sadiq, but it is Londoners who continue to pay the price.
After eight years, City Hall has become his personal spin machine, pushing out puff pieces while doing next to nothing to fix soaring crime and plummeting trust in the Met Police.
But it is difficult to overstate how angry I was when I learned that he had squirrelled away a staggering sum for a pre-election spending spree.
And where has that money come from? Some is tax revenue, but some is from London’s reserves.
For eight long years, Sadiq Khan has constantly moaned that the police needed more money, whipping out the begging bowl and asking for more cash from the government. But he happens to ignore the pile of cash he was secretly stashing away.
Cash that could have stopped criminals. Cash that could have prevented people becoming victims of crime. Knife crime has risen while the Metropolitan Police, an institution that Londoners rely upon for their safety, has been neglected.
And it is not just finances that he has withheld from the police. He has also refused to support them, especially when they must make unpopular but necessary decisions. He does, however, seem to enjoy sniping from the sidelines and pretending that he is not in charge of the institution that he is failing so badly.
Just look at how he treated the previous Met commissioner when things started to fall apart. His attitude appeared sneering and condescending, to the point where an official review found his actions were akin to constructive dismissal.
But that is his attitude to the police. He would rather blame everyone else for rising crime, rather than stepping up himself.
The reserve funds he’s spending now could have made a serious difference if they had been invested in policing. When we look at the awful crime statistics under hismayoralty, we must remember that they represent real people, families, and communities whose lives have been turned upside down by crime.
The role of the Mayor of London should first and foremost be to ensure the safety and security of its people. It is not supposed to be about promoting Sadiq Khan.
That is why I am running to replace him. My top priority is to get a grip of crime and make our streets safe. This will be reflected in every decision I make and every pound of your money I spend. I have already sourced £200 million to invest into the Met Police. That’s money, invested to ensure that frontline officers have the resources, training, and tools they need to get back on the beat and stop crime.
We will set up specialist units to tackle burglaries, robberies and thefts – crimes which for too long have gone unenforced. And, crucially, I will rebuild trust between the Met Police and the people they serve. We must foster a closer relationship between the police and our communities, as it is the best way to tackle crime at its roots.
When I was leader of Harrow Council, I set up a Neighbourhood Champions scheme so that residents, the police and the council could work together to improve their communities. We recruited more than 1,000 volunteers to report street crimes. It worked. We became the safest borough in London.
I fixed things in Harrow. And I will fix things in London. Londoners deserve better, and we can do better than Sadiq Khan. We just need to vote for it on May 2.
Susan Hall is the Conservative candidate for Mayor of London