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Why I am running to be Mayor of London

Diane for MayorI have recently announced my firm intention to run to be Labours candidate for Mayor of London. It is not a formal declaration. The contest does not start officially until June 2015. So my current priority is Labour’s campaign to win the 2015 General Election. But it is not too early to think about  issues in relation to London. I am still working on my policy offer to London, but certain things are already clear.

So  one reason why I want to run as Mayor is to lead the fight to make London affordable again. London is a wonderful city. But it is also one of the most expensive cities on earth. We in London have our own distinct and ballooning cost of living crisis. Recent government statistics reveal that thirty something Londoners are leaving the capital in unprecedented numbers apparently because of  living costs.

A key issue is the cost of housing. House prices have spiralled way above average incomes, rents are the highest in the country and Londoners pay a bigger proportion of their income in rents than anyone else in the UK. Some people argue that high housing costs are a simple matter of supply, which can be fixed by building on the green belt or creating new garden cities. I will be arguing for more fundamental measures, including allowing councils to borrow to build.Fares on public transport are another key issue for Londoners. We have to look at measures to stabilise them.

Londoners, like the rest of the country, have seen the sixth successive year of a decline in the value of their wages in real terms. As Labour’s candidate I would lead the fight against zero hours contracts and the proliferation of agency work.It is disgraceful that last year not a single employer in London was prosecuted for not paying the minimum wage.  I would support trade union rights and freedoms, because the best defence against low pay and exploitation remains a strong trade union movement. It is predatory employers and the lack of trade union protection that causes low pay, not immigrants.

On the question of immigration I would be a strong voice against the current toxic narrative. At times all the major political parties appear to be competing as to who can sound the most anti-immigrant. As another Labour figure has said recently, too many politicians talk about immigration as if it is a disease. The public needs to be reminded that recent EU migrants contribute more to the economy than they take out and that, far from being a drain on our public services, immigrants are the backbone of the public services in London. My mother migrated to this country from Jamaica in the 1950’s as a pupil nurse. She was part of that generation that helped to build our NHS. As Labour’s candidate I will counter the current anti-immigrant narrative with facts and I will celebrate London’s diversity. London is one of the world’s great cities. Immigrants and the children of immigrants are an intrinsic part of our success as a city.

17 Comments

  1. Jim Denham says:

    If this self-promoting fake-left hypocrite and poseur is the best the Labour left can come up with, we are, indeed, in a bad way.

  2. Rod says:

    Diane is the only candidate with the policies, personality and imagination to win the mayoralty for Labour.

    However, if the immigrant-punishing, austerity-loving, war-mongering Labour Party win the G.E. in 2015 her chances won’t be improved for 2016.

    1. Robert says:

      Well it’s simple labour or the Tories for another five years, with Osborne thinking of killing people to save money, labour will think of killing more, so the game is afoot, what a shame we do not have an SNP.

      1. David Ellis says:

        A party that stood for a sovereign English parliament and a Federation of British nations to replace the Westminster Union would do very well especially if it alos put forward a radical programme of socialist policies. Westminister however are trying to divide England into discrete devolved regions and cities. Classic divide and rule. As for Diane Abbott what diffrerence will it make if she is mayor except to her bank balance? London is run by the City and corporations. The politicians are for show only.

        1. Robert says:

          The rest will be doing the same, who wants to give more power to progress.

  3. Chris Lovett says:

    This is a joke, No? What’s wrong with Ken?

    1. Robert says:

      he does not wish to stand again so has now decided to retire.

      So if you want Progress to win then go for it this Abbott is the left candidate

    2. John reid says:

      He lost twice against clown boris

  4. swatantra says:

    All good policies on homes for Londonners, a living wage to be abled to afford to live in London, and a positive statement that London would collapse were it not for immigrant keeping the London economy going. london is blooming, blooming marvelous, one of the greatest Capital Cities in the World, and a magnet for the poor and rich alike.
    London needs a charismatic democratic socialist Mayor that believes in Equality and Aspiration WellBeing and out of the dozens of Labour candidates putting themselves forward, Di Abbott has the credentials. A pity that ex -Londoners brought up in London can’t vote, but oI would if I had the chance.
    However I notice that a Land Value Tax is missing from Dianes, programme and Community Land Trusts. If you want to kick start that housing boom then we need a LVT, and if you want to clean up Londons Estates of Crime and Drugs we need well managed Community Cooperative Housing, otherwise we are going to end with what was once Broadwater Farm and Thamesmead like Estates.

  5. Jim Denham says:

    Come to think of it, Abbott would at least be (marginally) preferable to the loathsome Jew-baiter Livingstone.

    1. David Ellis says:

      Shut up you clown. Livingstone did what the corporations told him to do but he is no Jew-baiter except to Zionists like you. Why don’t you take your scabby ethnic cleansing arse over to the Daily Mail website. You’d be much happier there.

      1. John reid says:

        Saying rich jews won’t vote for me, isn’t anti Zionism ,it’s anti semeticism,Gerald Kaufman a rich Jew hates Israel more than anyone

  6. Diane is a great democratic socialist, a hard worker and a person of great personal integrity, She is loyal and fair minded. She was an excellent junior health minister. Together with the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, which I currently chair, I strongly support her intended candidature for London Mayor,

    1. Robert says:

      If I was in labour and lived in London I’d vote for her, but these days I’m not in labour and do not live in London.
      Sadly labour are Miles away from being a party I would vote for these days.

  7. Barry Gray says:

    The left has held the leadership of Labour in London-wide government for over 30 years.
    With Ken Livingstone the position was used to improve services, oppose Tory cuts and celebrate the city’s multiculturalism.
    Diane Abbott MP is the left candidate in next year’s Labour Mayoral selection.
    Her campaign is: for public services, against austerity and racism.
    Let’s keep London Labour on the left.
    The alternative is Labour’s right taking control and inflicting the type of damage to Labour support it has done in Scotland.

  8. John reid says:

    I understand CLP have to nominate one woman and another, so it could be tessa and Diane,
    I understand achristian Wolmar Sadiq Khan and David Lammy all have following’s in South east London and the Essex parts of london

  9. Barry Ewart says:

    Best of luck to Diane. If Paris can have a female democratic socialist Mayor then so can London. Rent controls in London would help (plus Labour nationally should reintroduce taxes on private landlords with multiple properties – this has helped private landlords courtesy of the Tories/Lib Dems reap £9b from the housing benefit bill). Rent controls could save billions on the housing benefit bill which we could use to refurbish empty homes to rent and buy at affordable rates plus could let LAs, housing associations or Coops do this and just think with no new spend. Agree that London as well as elsewhere needs to get back to a democratic system of members making policy.

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