Siobhan Benita promised to Love London Better as she launched her bid to become Mayor.
Standing to become the first Liberal Democrat Mayor of London - and the first female mayor, the knife crime expert pledged to work for a safer, greener, kinder London.
Siobhan, who joined the Lib Dems the morning of the 2016 EU referendum result, addressed key issues facing the capital, including crime, housing, transport and the environment.
She said: "London is the best city on earth but it pains me that so many things are not working. Knife crime is out of control, rough sleeping at its highest level in years, our air is toxic and commuters are bearing the brunt of a creaking transport system every day. These are all areas where the Mayor can make a difference. So, today, I’m outlining my vision for a city that is safer, greener and kinder. I believe I have the experience, the energy and the skills to deliver it."
|Read Siobhan's speech in full|
Key ideas Siobhan highlighted in her speech included:
- Re-open neighbourhood police stations, double the number of local ward officers and ensure every secondary school has a dedicated police liaison officer
- Develop a London-wide inclusion strategy with the aim of eliminating permanent school exclusions
- Create a London Youth Service to bring community spaces into use to safeguard young people in the after-school hours
- London to be a pilot area for a legal, regulated cannabis market to take money and power away from gangs
- Build to rent on TFL land
- Bring thousands of empty homes back into use
- London to achieve zero-carbon status by 2030
- No to the Silvertown tunnel and no to airport expansion
- Prioritise investment in walking and cycling schemes
- Move towards smart road user charging
- London-wide co-ordination to make recycling easier
- Ban all unnecessary single use plastic by 2024
Promising to be a different kind of Mayor at the launch in the First Dates restaurant on the eve of Valentine's Day, Siobhan said: "I make no apology for putting love, kindness and compassion at the heart of my politics. Now I know the charges that may be made against me for this.
Hearing from @LeroyLogan999, previously an adviser to @SadiqKhan, about why he'll be supporting @SiobhanBenita for Mayor of London. Under Sadiq, knife crime has doubled, over half of police stations have closed and diversity has not improved within the police, he says #backbenita pic.twitter.com/S9YrCobAPG— Cllr Luisa Porritt 🇪🇺🔶️ (@LuisaPorritt) February 13, 2020
I make no apology for putting love, kindness and compassion at the heart of my politics. These values are my greatest strength.— Siobhan Benita #BackBenita🔶 (@SiobhanBenita) February 14, 2020
With compassion at the heart of City Hall, I can achieve better outcomes for Londoners.#LoveLondonBetter | #ValentinesDay2020 | #HappyValentinesDay pic.twitter.com/2P315PcErN
How the London Mayor is elected
London goes to the polls on May 7, with the mayoral race decided by the supplementary vote system. Voter mark their first and second preferences. The top two candidates on first preferences go through to a head-to-head, with second choices of those voters whose candidates did not go through allocated to the top two candidates to decide the winner.
Find out more at www.backbenita.com
Ways to help Siobhan's campaign
Find out more about Siobhan at www.siobhanbenita.com/about