Yesterday Farah London came to Havering to meet local residents and discuss important issues affecting the community.
Farah is an independent candidate who is running for mayor in the capital’s mayoral elections next year.
The business woman from Croydon has a clear vision set out and is ‘fed up with career politicians’ running our capital and wants to make many changes to turn London into a ‘successful capital once again’.
Born and raised in Croydon, she is determined to shake-up the current race, running as an independent candidate and offering Londoners a credible alternative to Sadiq Khan and Shaun Bailey in next year’s contest.
Setting out her decision to run, Farah said:
“The damage inflicted by this dreadful pandemic makes next year’s election the most important in London’s history. As a home and place of work for millions of people, London is extremely vulnerable to and has been hit hard by the impact of Covid-19. After years of failing to address our city’s problems, another career politician is the last thing London needs.”
As a successful entrepreneur herself with 22 years’ experience in the business world, Farah is acutely aware of the threat posed by Covid-19, and has been unimpressed by the response of current Mayor Sadiq Khan:
“I don’t feel that the Mayor really gets the magnitude of the challenge facing us. Our city risks being hollowed out unless action is taken. Thousands of businesses that service commuters face oblivion, and the city’s public transport system has been plunged into financial crisis through rampant mismanagement.”
On leaving the Conservative Party to run as an independent candidate:
“I’m determined to stand on an independent platform, unconstrained by party politics, with my own vision for London. Another career politician from either the Conservative or Labour Party is the last thing London needs. Despite his candidacy being public now for some time, Shaun Bailey has failed to offer a credible program that will address London’s challenges. Ihave witnessed first-hand the lack of beliefConservative party members have in hiscampaign”.
Farah is determined to capture people’s imagination with her slogan: ‘Bring London Back’ – a reference to the declining affordability and safety in the capital.
“I will get London building real affordable housing, something the current Mayor has failed to achieve. Furthermore, private renters in London on average spend 40% of their income on rent. While weekly rent in London is also 71% higher than the national average. This acts a huge drag on London’s economy and has to change”.
Understanding the urgency of the situation, and the impact particularly on young people, Farah sets out:
“I understand that for many living in our capital, the need for a helping hand is urgent, and cannot wait. This is particularly true for young people, many of whom will suffer most from the economic consequences of Covid-19. That’s why, if elected as Mayor, I will commit to council tax reform, and seek an exemption for tenants aged under 25”.
She also argues that crime has spiralled out of control, with people feeling increasingly unsafe in their own neighbourhoods.
“The level of knife crime in our city is shameful. Sadiq Khan’s decision to close thirty-eight of the 73 police stations with front desks was a huge mistake, and something I’d reverse instantly. I will also get 6,000 more officers and special constables on the beat and ensure they have the equipment they need to detect knives and drugs. As Mayor I will always stand by our police forces on the frontline”.
One ambition Farah is keen to champion is London’s attractiveness as a destination for tech start-ups.
“I want to see London’s tech cluster reach the heights of our financial services sector and become the world’s biggest hub outside of Silicon Valley.”
In achieving this, Farah emphasises the importance of deepening London’s talent pool and upgrading its connectivity to ensure the city is truly globally competitive.
“We need to encourage the uptake of coding and artificial intelligence in schools and colleges, but also ensure London can continue accessing the world’s best and brightest. Providing businesses with reliable access to full fibre broadband will also be essential, London’s coverage is just over 10%, way behind many of our international counterparts in Asia.”
Farah will be speaking to residents, businesses, and organisations from all over London for their take on the city’s challenges, as well as the impact of Covid-19. She will be setting out more of her polices and plans over the coming weeks and months.
THE LONDON AFFORDABLE TO ITS PEOPLE
London’s housing crisis is a longstanding problem and can only be solved through increasing supply. I will get London building real affordable housing, something the current Mayor has failed to achieve. It is critical we simplify planning rules and increase the development of private and public sector projects, including on brownfield sites. I also understand that for many living in our capital, the need for a helping hand is urgent, and cannot wait. This is particularly true for young people, many of whom will suffer most from the economic consequences of Covid-19. That’s why, if elected, I will commit to council tax reform, and seek an exemption for people aged under 25.
THE LONDON OF OPPORTUNITY
Covid-19 has hit London hard. Because of the uptake of home working, thousands of businesses that service commuters and shoppers face extinction. Unless immediate action is taken, our city risks being hollowed out from the centre. We need a Mayor who not only recognises the scale of threat but has a compelling vision for our city’s economic recovery. Covid-19 has accelerated the UK’s transition to a digital economy. I want to see London’s tech cluster become the world’s biggest hub outside of Silicon Valley. To achieve this, I will upgrade London’s connectivity by expanding full fibre broadband. Our coverage is just over 10%, way behind many of our international counterparts in Asia. I will also deepen London’s talent pool by encouraging the uptake of free courses of coding and artificial intelligence in educational centres open for all ages and backgrounds. For the next generation, I will provide grants for vulnerable children to have laptop and Wi-Fi access for schoolwork.
THE LONDON FREE FROM THE GRIP OF CRIME
Crime in London has spiralled out of control. The decision to close 38 of the 73 police stations with front desks was a grave mistake, and something I’d take steps to reverse immediately. People feel increasingly unsafe in their own neighbourhoods. The spread of knife crime and gang violence is a scourge that must be eradicated. I will get 6,000 more officers and special constables on the beat and ensure they have the equipment they need to detect knives and drugs. I’ll work closely with communities to tackle the core issues behind youth violence and introduce youth empowerment initiatives, that will generate the next generation of all stars, representing our country all over the world. Speaking to people across London, it is clear how much we all value the contribution police officers make to our safety. I want this to be reflected in the pay and benefits they receive, including private medical care. As Mayor I will always stand by our police forces on the frontline.
THE LONDON OF A WORLD-CLASS PUBLIC TRANSPORT
As Mayor, I will work constructively with the government to secure the financing needed to place our transport network on a sustainable footing and generate income from a state-of-the-art advertising platform across our transport system. On Day 1 I will reduce the Congestion Charge to £12 and 5 days a week, and further introduce short stay tariffs. Too much tax paid by hard-working Londoners ends up leaving the city. At present, our capital retains just seven per cent of the revenue it generates, compared to over 50 per cent in New York. If we’re to establish a world-beating transport network, this has to change. I will also make London the best city in the world to own an electric vehicle and continue to support our iconic Black Cabs trade.
THE LONDON THAT CELEBRATES DIVERSITY
Diversity is one of London’s biggest assets. It’s incumbent on the Mayor to ensure London is a place where everyone feels welcome, part of that is ensuring our cultural sights are truly representative. This doesn’t mean erasing our history through tearing down statues, it means building new ones. The confident, forward looking London I envisage is as comfortable protesting against racial discrimination, as it is celebrating Winston Churchill. We will welcome the first Black Cultural and Heritage museum, to recognise the beautiful cultural impact the Black community has contributed to our great city. As Mayor, I will unite our city and create a proud London.
THE LONDON WITH CLEAN AIR AND WATER
I will be the greenest Mayor yet, taking real action by implementing a long-term Environmental Protection Drive across London, working with educational institutions, corporations, and individuals to see a cleaner and greener London improving our air quality and cleaning up the Thames. Not only we will protect our bee population to thrive and reproduce, we will change the landscape of London with micro algae installations across London. The installations will clean the air within days of installation and not take years, by consuming pollutant gases in the air and release oxygen back into our atmosphere.