B&I Conservatives welcomed the three Conservative Candidates for Mayor: Andrew Boff, Shaun Bailey and Joy Morrissey, to our hustings at St Paul's Church in the Chiswick Riverside Ward.
The three candidates touted their love of London, with Shaun Bailey declaring "We want a better London", whilst Joy Morrissey told the audience of her intention to bring back a "London Conservative voice", and Andrew Boff spoke of his belief in providing Londoners with "Freedom...Liberty" and "personal responsibility".
The candidates answered questions on a variety of topics, but the main four issues which were discussed throughout the evening were: Crime, Heathrow, Housing and TFL. Below we have provided a comparison of the candidates' proposed policies in response to these issues.
Joy told the audience she intends to take a "holistic approach to young people", in order to prevent youth violence so that as she put it: "instead of going into a gang they (young people) can go into a job". In addition she spoke of her intention to have "tougher sentencing for moped crime, knife crime and acid attacks", whilst she also would like to see "special legislation brought in for mopeds" after the spate of moped crime which has gripped London in the last few years.
Andrew advocated for "getting really tough on gangs" by increasing stop and search, and following Glasgow in making violent crime "a public health emergency". He too spoke of a desire to push young people away from a life of crime, by giving "them some kind of opportunity". He also claimed that it's more important to "measure outputs" rather than "inputs" of police officers, saying "we've got to police smarter".
Shaun spoke of his desire to create a London where "criminals are under pressure, not communities" attacked Sadiq Khan's record on crime claiming "He's not helpless on crime, he's clueless on crime", and committed to "increase the amount of stop and search".
Andrew explained his opposition to the third runway at Heathrow, claiming that London needs "a hub airport that's expandable", and offered his alternative of a "hub airport on the Isle of Grain"
Shaun announced that if he became Mayor, "not a penny of TFL's money would be spent" on the third Terminal at Heathrow- a decision which he claims would hamper the progress of building the new runway. Instead he offered the "Gatwick alternative".
Joy expressed her concerns about the issues surrounding air quality in the area, if the Heathrow expansion did go ahead, claiming "It's only going to get worse". She also pledged to "expand the transport links around the M25" in order to ease congestion in the event that the third runway is built.
Shaun laid out his vision of a "London where everyone has a place to call home", which he feels can be achieved through cracking down on "rogue landlords", reducing affordable housing targets which he labelled ridiculous, and using "rent deposit schemes".
Joy pledged to "tackle the issue of supply" of housing in London, by proposing a "housing first" policy. She went on to slam Labour councils which she claimed "are callous to the needs of the homeless".
Andrew also spoke of the need "to increase overall supply" of homes, and described council homes as "an engine of social mobility", and committed to building "good quality houses not high rises".
Joy voiced her concerns about TFL's financial viability, claiming "each journey is running at a loss", and proposed using TFL owned land for "private sector rents" in order to raise the capital required to avoid hiking fares. She also promised to "crack down on the unions" by training new drivers who could replace those who strike in an attempt to "make TFL work for us"
Andrew promised to provide "more scrutiny, more control" over TFL and to make sure there is "more democratic accountability" over the decisions taken by TFL. He criticised the Mayor's weakness over tube strikes claiming "TFL is the one that calls the shots".
Shaun also pledged to improve TFL's profitability by ensuring the "fullest use of all of their commercial assets". He also wished to "extend the DLR" in order to reduce tube strikes, and reaffirmed his campaign pledge to "protect the freedom pass".
All three candidates are incredibly well qualified, and have the policies and the personality to beat Sadiq Khan and turn London Blue, but it will be a close ballot and we wish Andrew, Shaun and Joy the very best of luck!
The ballot for qualified Conservative Party Members will open on the 17th September and closes on the 26th September.