Four things we learned from the London mayoral debate

Clockwise from top left: Susan Hall, Rob Blackie, Zoe Garbett and Sadiq Khan.

Last night, the four top candidates in the London mayoral election went head to head on live TV.

Hosted by ITV London and moderated by presenter Charlene White, the debate saw Labour incumbent Sadiq Khan, Conservative rival Susan Hall, Liberal Democrat challenger Rob Blackie and Green Party candidate Zoë Garbett discuss issues from transport to crime.

If you missed it, we’ve picked out the five top things we learned from the 24-minute discussion.

1) Single fare transport 

Green candidate Zoë Garbett would be keen to bring in a single fare across all London transport, like the one in operation across the capital’s buses.

She said: “This is all about bringing down the fares for outer Londoners… some people who have been pushed into outer boroughs and are having to travel further for work.”

Garbett admitted the policy would be expensive and said she’d have to negotiate with the government. She said the plan was to start with the DLR, before creating a single Tube fare.

2) No more train strikes?

2) Liberal Democrat candidate Rob Blackie reckons he could achieve a settlement with the transport unions resulting in “no strikes”.

Blackie told viewers he wanted to work with “anybody who is in government” and criticised Khan for taking money out of the Transport for London (TfL).

He promised “no more election gimmicks” and argued: “We’ll have stable finances and that will allow us to negotiate a long-term funding settlement. We’re going to have to pay our way for new Tube lines and train lines – central government may be able to underwrite that.

“We can also then, if we have a long-term funding settlement, also get a long-term settlement with the unions, and have no strikes.” 

3) Labour love-in

3) Sadiq Khan has got a new name for Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, referring to him as “shadow Prime Minister”.

Khan, who is currently sitting on a 13-point lead over Tory rival Susan Hall, described the election as “a moment of maximum opportunity – the chance to have a Labour mayor working with a Labour government… I’m so excited at that possibility.”

4) Not-so-free school meals?

4) Susan Hall walked back her claim that the children of millionaires are eating free school meals, which she said backed up her argument in favour of means testing school lunches.

Asked about her comments, and if the claim was true, she said: “It’s the theory of it, it’s not necessarily millionaires, but it’s people that can afford [it].

“It’s people that can afford to feed their children. If it’s targeted you can give people more nutritious meals… people are telling me the quality of these meals isn’t good and they’re sending their kids in with packed lunches. 

“We’re looking at £140m and that money could be targeted to the kids who really need it.”

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