SADIQ KHAN, the Labour candidate in the race to become Mayor of London, has spoken about his respect for the Irish community in Britain ahead of the election.
Today, in an exclusive address to Irish Post readers, he reveals his own emigrant background, his understanding of the Irish community at the heart of London and his plans to support them he should be elected as Mayor when voters go to the polls tomorrow, May 5.
“We owe so much to the Irish people who have come to London, worked hard, raised families and are at the heart of what makes our diverse city so great. On May 5 London’s Irish voters - like all Londoners - face a crucial choice.
"Our city is witnessing the worst housing crisis in a generation. Eight years of a part-time Tory Mayor have led to the cost of living sky-rocketing. Whether it’s renting a flat, buying a home, or commuting to work, more and more Londoners are struggling to afford living in our city.
"Just like London’s Irish community, I believe in a strong work ethic. I grew up on a council estate, where my parents had
stable rents and could work hard to secure a decent start in life for me and my siblings.
"Now young Londoners are being denied those opportunities, and are facing extortionate rents and short-term leases from rogue landlords.
"I want to be Mayor so that I can fight for strengthening renters’ rights over tenancy lengths, rent rises, and the quality of accommodation. So that London’s Irish key workers - like all the city’s nurses, teachers, police officers, doctors and firemen who give so much to our public services - can have stable and affordable homes.
"We all also deserve decent and affordable public transport. Transport infrastructure is crucial to London’s economy, but Londoners currently pay some of the highest fares of any major city.
"I am fighting to be Mayor so that I can freeze fares for four years, and Londoners are not forced to spend more and more of their hard earned money on transport.
"Throughout my campaign, I’ve been clear that I want to be the most pro business Mayor London has ever had.
"Next month’s European Referendum is a massive threat to London - and the Conservative mayoral candidate is fighting hard for Britain to leave Europe. Such an outcome would be catastrophic for our city, putting half a million London jobs and £12billion of London’s exports at risk.
"If I am successful on May 5, I will campaign for Britain to stay in Europe. London cannot become isolationist. I want to build stronger links with Dublin and Belfast and showcase the innovation of London’s Irish community.
"I’ve met so many Irish entrepreneurs across London, and I want to celebrate their creativity, not cut their businesses off from the European market.
"London’s Irish community has a choice at this election - a choice on housing, transport, Europe and the cost of living.
"There is choice between a candidate who celebrates London’s diversity, the contribution of the Irish community, and the many different communities who make our city great, and a candidate who has run a negative campaign designed to divide London.
"London is at a crossroads, and I hope that on May 5 Irish voters will choose me as a Mayor for all Londoners.”