Sadiq Khan shows off bike skills as he urges Londoners to give their second vote for mayor to the Greens

Ross Lydall
·6-min read
<p>Sadiq Khan performs a bunny hop on a borrowed bike in Hackney Marshes</p> (Getty Images)

Sadiq Khan performs a bunny hop on a borrowed bike in Hackney Marshes

(Getty Images)

Sadiq Khan today urged his supporters to give their second vote to the Greens as he said it was vital to prevent the Conservatives winning control of City Hall.

The Labour candidate for mayor said he would be casting his second preference vote for Green candidate Sian Berry – as he appealed to Greens to help him defeat Tory Shaun Bailey on May 6.

It came as the campaign took a bizarre twist as Mr Khan sought to display better bike-handling skills than Mr Bailey by performing “bunny hop” jumps on Hackney Marshes on a bike borrowed from an Evening Standard reporter.

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Mr Khan said: “We have got to have a green future for our city. I have declared a climate emergency and we have got to get to zero carbon by 2030.

“I’m asking people who give me their first preference to give their second preference to Sian Berry, because that is what I’m doing.

Sian Berry: Sadiq Khan is giving her his second preference vote for mayorDaniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd
Sian Berry: Sadiq Khan is giving her his second preference vote for mayorDaniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd

“I’m asking Green voters to give me their first preference, because the reality is I’m the only person that can beat the Tory candidate. We know the Tory candidate’s policies are anti the green agenda.”

Earlier today, as he launched his election battle bus, Mr Bailey denied he would have to amend his transport policies to comply with Boris Johnson’s drive to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions by 78 per cent by 2035.

His manifesto pledges to axe the expansion this October of the ultra-low emission zone to the North and South Circular roads, reduce the £15 congestion charge back to £11.50 and reintroduce the C-charge exemption for minicabs. He also wants to introduce 30 minutes of free parking in suburban town centres.

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Mr Bailey vowed to take his battle bus – which arrived late for his Westminster photoshoot because it got stuck in traffic - to every London borough as the race for mayor entered its final fortnight.

He said he would save Londoners from a “£4.68bn tax grab” he claimed being planned by Mr Khan, equivalent to £1,339 over three years for the average household.

Shaun Bailey claims three more years of Sadiq Khan as mayor would cost the average Londoner £1,339AFP via Getty Images
Shaun Bailey claims three more years of Sadiq Khan as mayor would cost the average Londoner £1,339AFP via Getty Images

This assumes that council tax would rise at the same rate in a second mayoral term as the 31 per cent in Mr Khan’s first five years, and adds in the expansion of the £12.50 ultra-low emission zone, £15 congestion charge and proposed £3.50 Greater London boundary charge.

Mr Khan’s spokesman said the allegations were “completely ludicrous”, based on “invented numbers” and failed to recognise that all Londoners would be exempt from any Greater London boundary charge.

Mr Bailey denied his manifesto policies ran counter to the Prime Minister’s plans to cut carbon emissions.

He told the Standard: “We are a huge city with nine million people in it, and we need some kind of vehicle movement for our economic wellbeing.

“It’s very important when you try to address air quality in London you don’t just attack people’s wallets.

“What I’m focusing on is: where are these emissions coming from? I will make the entire bus fleet, all 9,000 buses, zero emission. That is the equivalent of taking 1.1m cars off the roads from an emissions point of view.”

Asked if he accepted there was a need to reduce traffic, Mr Bailey said: “There is no doubt in my mind we need to reduce the traffic in London, anybody will tell you that. The trick is how we go about it.

“I think we need to move away from the idea that it is cyclists v drivers. We have an asset that is the roads, and we can use that better.

“One barge on the Thames removes 50 HGV lorries on our roads. Why aren’t we doing that? We could do night-time delivery, which could reduce some of the commercial traffic on the road as well.

“The only reason we need to be pro-motorist is about our economic redevelopment. What I want to do is address the balance. I want to take private cars off the road, so we have good public transport. I want to get some of the commercial transport off the road.

“One car club car takes 13 private vehicles off the road. If Londoners feel they can get access to a car when they need it, they won’t go and buy their own. I want to encourage that kind of behaviour. That’s how we get cars off the road in London.”

Asked about the proposed Silvertown tunnel in east London, Mr Bailey confirmed he was in favour of the £2bn-plus scheme.

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“The traffic [congestion] in the east is incredible and we need to alleviate that,” he said. “The tunnel is essential. The people in the east of London must be allowed to have proper crossings, just like the people of west London. Major infrastructure for London is something I will always support.”

Khan he do it: Sadiq Khan remains the front-runner in mayoral pollsGetty Images
Khan he do it: Sadiq Khan remains the front-runner in mayoral pollsGetty Images

Mr Khan joined young players from Hackney Wick FC to promote City Hall investment in youth projects. He wore a “Khan 10” shirt given to him by the club on a previous visit.

“This was a shirt given to me by this team a couple of years ago,” he told the Standard. “I found it in my wardrobe. I thought they would be pleasantly surprised that I wore it. The choice of number is nothing to do with me, guv.

Asked if his aim was to make to Downing Street after a second mayoral term, Mr Khan replied: “I do like poaching goals. I do like playing upfront. I used to be a central midfield player but I have lost the stamina. I’m what we used to call when I was at school a ‘goal hanger’. You stay onside and then you poach the goals.”

Mr Khan, a keen Liverpool fan, said: “When I was young, my heroes were Graeme Souness, Ian Rush and Kenny Dalglish. Souness was a great leader on the pitch, a commander. His team respected him and loved him.

“Ian Rush scored great, great goals, but also he teamed up with Kenny Dalglish. What Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush and Graeeme Souness realised is that neither one of them by themselves led to the team’s victory. All of them working together did. I have, over the last few years, tried to engender a ‘team London’ spirit.”

He added: “Graeme Souness once said to me often he would give an opponent ‘the eyes’. Often you didn’t need to go in for the tackle. He tried to teach me the eyes. I couldn’t quite pull it off.”

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