Sadiq Khan warns of ‘mass unemployment’ when furlough ends in autumn

Gavin Cordon and Julia Saqui, PA
·1-min read

London mayor Sadiq Khan has warned of a wave of “mass unemployment” when the furlough scheme ends in September without action to protect jobs.

Speaking at a campaign event in Westminster, Mr Khan said his focus would be on “jobs, jobs, jobs” if he was re-elected for a second term in the delayed elections on May 6.

He set out plans for a £32 million fund to establish four new skills academies to train Londoners for work in growth areas in the creative, digital, low carbon and health and social care sectors.

“My concern as somebody who lived through the 1980s is we could have another period of mass unemployment where a generation is written off,” he said.

“Should I be re-elected on May 6, our focus in the second term will be jobs, jobs jobs.

“That means protecting the jobs we have, supporting job creation but also helping those who have lost their jobs get back in work.”

Laurence Fox at the unveiling of his ‘Free London’ battle bus
Laurence Fox at the unveiling of his ‘Free London’ battle bus (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Meanwhile the actor Laurence Fox launched his bid to become the capital’s mayor as leader of the new Reclaim Party with an attack on “authoritarian” politicians who had turned the city into a “ghost town”.

He said that Mr Khan was “indistinguishable” from his Conservative rival Shaun Bailey.

“A new virus has allowed professional political class to turn our once free democracy into an authoritarian regime,” he said.

“This beautiful city has been turned into a ghost town and London’s mayor should be fighting for her rights. But he has shown himself to be even more authoritarian than our Government.”