5 key pledges from London’s progressive Mayoral election candidates

What have the progressive London mayoral hopefuls promised ahead of the 2024 election?


Voters have under two weeks to decide on who they will support in the 2024 London Mayoral election on May 2. Ahead of the ballots, we take a look at five key pledges from each of the main progressive London Mayoral hopefuls. 

Sadiq Khan, Labour Party 

Permanent free school meals 

If he’s re-elected in May, the incumbent mayor has promised to make free school meals permanent for all state primary pupils in London. This would extend the offer initially brought in as an “emergency” one-year initiative last September having proved hugely popular. 

End rough sleeping 

A commitment to eliminate rough sleeping in the capital ‘once and for all’ is one of his big promises, with a plan to spend an extra £10m to address the crisis and end rough sleeping by 2030. 

Continue TfL fares freeze

Khan has promised to freeze TfL fares until at least 2025 if he reaches a third term as mayor, and potentially longer if ‘economic conditions allow’.

Build 40,000 new council homes 

He has promised the “greatest council homebuilding drive in a generation” promising to complete 40,000 new council homes by 2030, which is double his previous target which was achieved last year. 

Make the Thames River clean enough to swim in

Within ten years Khan says he will make the Thames “swimmable” as he described the river as a “national embarrassment” and pledged to to take on the mammoth challenge of cleaning the sewage filled waterway.

Zoe Garbett, Green Party

Rent controls 

Addressing London’s affordability crisis, Garbett has pledged to demand rent control powers for London and to set up a rent commission. Her manifesto also includes a promise to expand the council housing programme to ‘buy the supply’, which would help councils to purchase existing family-sized homes from the market. 

Free school meals 

Focusing on the cost-of-living crisis, Garbett has pledged to extend universal free school meals for secondary school children, which she said would come at a cost of between £180-200m funded from an expected increase in business rate income next year.

Travel perks for under-22s and over-60s 

She has pledged to extend free bus travel to under-22s and asylum seekers and restore peak free travel for older Londoners, with the intention of working towards one single, low fare for all public transport in London. 

Universal Basic Income pilot scheme

The Green’s have pledged to bring in a real Living Wage for London, estimated at £16.14, along with running pilot schemes for a Universal Basic Income with a focus on putting workers first. 

10 new major parks 

Climate is integral to the Green candidates pledges, including a commitment to create at least ten major new parks in the capital and to develop the current climate budget to meet 2030 commitments.

Rob Blackie, Lib Dems

Fix the Met

Blackie’s major pledge is to fix the Metropolitan Police. He has promised to cut crime in London by getting more police on the frontline through extra financial support, focusing on rebuilding the relationship between police and the community and reducing stop and search. Funding for his plans would come from removing the freeze on Tube single fares.  

‘London passport’ for EU citizens

As part of his promise to make sure London remains welcoming, Blackie has pledged to introduce a ‘London passport’ to help EU citizens by providing legal support for their right to remain in the UK. He has said a vote for Lib Dem is a vote for a closer relationship with Europe. 

Improve outer London transport 

Developing a Transport Plan for Outer London is a key transport pledge from the Lib Dem hopeful to speed up a transition to lower carbon transport. Also working to bring the London Overground to Sutton and expanding the Superloop scheme. 

Solar Panel scheme

Blackie has committed to a London Renewable energy scheme, in which residents would be paid £500 to install solar panels, which would be paid back by allowing the London government to sell their electricity back to the grid. 

Tackle low sexual offence conviction rates

In an interview with LFF, Blackie said he’d want his lasting achievement as mayor to be tackling the low rate of sexual offence convictions in London as part of his wider focus on police reform. 

The most recent YouGov polling has Sadiq Khan on 46 per cent, ahead of Tory candidate Susan Hall on 27 per cent, then the Green’s Zoe Garbett on 9 per cent and Blackie from the Lib Dems on 8 per cent. 

(Image credit: barnyz / Creative Commons)

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward, focusing on trade unions and environmental issues

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