OPINION - Susan Hall: If Sadiq Khan gets to implement his manifesto it will be a catastrophe for London

 (Matt Writtle)
(Matt Writtle)

Sadiq Khan can’t afford his manifesto without slashing police funding and bringing in pay-per-mile. Londoners across our city will be nothing short of disappointed with Sadiq Khan’s manifesto today. His “plan” offers next to nothing on the biggest issue facing our city and the number one responsibility of the Mayor of London – keeping Londoners safe.

Let’s look at what he has to offer.

Zero extra officers. Just a shrug and a suggestion that we might get 1,300 if there is a change in government. Zero extra police stations and bases. Police officers will remain miles away from the communities they serve and continue to fail to turn up for so-called “minor crimes.” He will continue the failed “Basic Command Unit” system and its massive bureaucracies.

Khan won’t listen to Londoners and their concerns, and his manifesto proves it beyond doubt. The few policies he does offer are so eye-wateringly expensive, he cannot afford it without slashing police funding. A £200 million investment, that the Met sorely needs, will be lost. He would have to shut even more police stations, on top of the 36 he has already. He would have to take thousands more police off the front line, whilst scaling back efforts to get knives off our streets.

Sadiq Khan would also have to bring forward his pay-per-mile plans, to get the revenue he needs to cover his pledges. And we know he wants to. He has spent £21 million building the technology for pay-per-mile already. Even in his own book he has promised to bring it in — that’s page 186 if you are unlucky enough to have a copy.

Sadiq Khan never listens to Londoners

Make no mistake. If Sadiq Khan gets to put this manifesto into action after May 2nd, it would be a catastrophe. More murders, more burglaries, and more robberies, with a police force ill-equipped to cope. Families pushed into debt and small businesses shut down, with a pay-per-mile tax Londoners cannot afford.

Sadiq Khan won’t listen. He never listens to Londoners, no matter how badly his actions affect you. But I am listening. I will recruit 1,500 new police officers. That’s a serious promise that I will deliver, as part of a top-to-bottom overhaul of the Met Police.

I will put two new police bases in every single borough and bring back borough-based policing, so your police are local to you again. Knife crime will be taken seriously. I am the only candidate who will increase stop-and-search, and make it quicker, fairer, and less intrusive using handheld knife detectors.

Schools will be knife-free zones, with my investment in knife arches for every school in London.

My pledges are backed by a £200 million fully costed investment in our Met Police. An investment we can afford, by making City Hall and Transport for London spend more responsibly. These will be delivered without hammering Londoners with unfair taxes, which is why I will scrap Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ expansion and pay-per-mile plans on day one.

You will be safer with a Mayor who listens to you and who takes policing seriously. You can rely on a Mayor who doesn’t punish you or your family for driving a car. But we cannot trust false promises from a man who has never been truly honest with Londoners.

With your support on May 2nd, we can bring the change London sorely needs.

Susan Hall is the Conservative candidate for Mayor of London