Sadiq Khan hits back at Liz Truss over ‘anti-everything’ swipe at Tory leadership hustings

·2-min read
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said in a speech at City Hall that ‘London needs a reforming commissioner… I’ll accept nothing less’ (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said in a speech at City Hall that ‘London needs a reforming commissioner… I’ll accept nothing less’ (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)

Sadiq Khan has hit back at Tory leadership frontrunner Liz Truss over her claims that he is “anti-everything” and has called for the next Prime Minister to put an end to “anti-London policies”.

It comes following the final hustings for the Conservative Party leadership contest held in London on Wednesday night where current favourite Liz Truss launched a series of attacks on the Mayor of London.

In front of around 7,000 people gathered inside Wembley Arena, the current Foreign Secretary accused Mr Khan of being “anti-car, anti-business and anti-opportunity” and claimed that he was “holding London back”. She added that if elected as Tory leader, she would “make London Conservative again”.Leadership rival Rishi Sunak also targeted Mr Khan’s record as mayor saying “we need to do is squarely hold to account the failings of Sadiq Khan.”

But speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service on Thursday, the Mayor of London hit back.

Mr Khan said: “I don’t apologise for being anti-poverty, for being anti-climate change and for being anti-crime and what I want the Government to do, whether it’s led by Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak is to understand, you do not get a national recovery without a recovery in our city. And you don’t get a recovery in London with the huge under-investment we’ve seen over the last few years.

“Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak will be the fourth Prime Minister since I’ve been mayor. We’ve been in unprecedented times. Ken Livingstone dealt with two Prime Ministers, Boris Johnson with two. I’m now on my fourth. What I think is important is, whether it’s Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak, for them to have policies to address the crisis we’re facing with the cost of living, with energy prices. I want to work with them to get a national recovery. What I don’t want is silly tribal politics, name-calling and for a continuation of anti-London policies. Let’s work together in the national interest.”

The Mayor of London added that he wanted to “reset relations” with the Government and “work with them to make further progress” on boosting the country’s economic recovery.

Liz Truss remains the bookies’ favourite to be named the country’s new Prime Minister on Monday, with voting in the contest coming to an end on Friday 2 September at 5pm.