'Proud' Susan Hall says she 'so nearly' defeated Sadiq Khan despite losing by record margin

Tory mayoral candidate Susan Hall has said she will “never forget” how she “so nearly” defeated Sadiq Khan in last week’s election, despite having lost by a record margin.

Breaking her silence since her weekend concession speech, Ms Hall said in a video message to her social media followers on Wednesday that it was the honour of her life to stand for mayor.

The Conservative candidate lost last week’s election by 275,828 votes to the Labour incumbent Mr Khan, who won an unprecedented third term.

In terms of raw votes, it was the largest margin of victory in the mayoralty’s history, if second preferences - a feature of the old supplementary vote system used for previous City Hall elections - are discounted. In percentage terms, it was the second-largest margin, after independent Ken Livingstone’s victory in the first round of 2000’s inaugural election.

In her new video, Ms Hall gave her thanks to those who voted for her, and acknowledged the “extraordinary support” she had received from those who contributed to her campaign.

Reflecting on her defeat, she said: “To be the mayor of the city I have loved and lived in all my life - where I went from the garage workshop as a young woman in a man’s world, to running a business whilst raising a family - would have been wonderful.”

The candidate explained that her campaign was “about listening to ordinary Londoners”, who had shared their concerns with her over crime, last year’s Ulez expansion, and the capital’s unaffordable housing costs.

“I am proud to have given a voice to so many who feel they have been ignored,” Ms Hall said. “I will continue to fight your corner as a member of the London Assembly, where I will do all I can to make your voices heard.”

She added: “It has been the honour of my life to stand as mayor for London, and I will never forget what we so nearly achieved together. Thank you again, for everything.”

Ms Hall had last been seen giving her concession speech at City Hall, shortly after Mr Khan was declared victorious.

In that speech, she congratulated the mayor, but added that he should “try harder” to make London better and stop “patronising people” concerned about crime.

She was swiftly ushered out of City Hall through a back door, but was seen the next day being sworn in as a re-elected assembly member.

Two former Tory assembly members - whose seats were lost to Labour and the Liberal Democrats - said this week they believed the Conservatives’ London campaign was too “negative” about the city and should have reached further beyond the party’s “core vote”.