The MP for Tottenham announced earlier last week that he is to seek the Labour nomination for London Mayor in 2016. It seems h faces stiff competition as Tessa Jowell, the former Olympics minister; Sadiq Khan, the shadow justice secretary; Margaret Hodge, the chair of the commons public accounts committee; and Diane Abbott, the former shadow public health minister, are also seen as possible candidates for the Labour nomination. Who will win? *Dun dun dun*
Could Lammy have an advantage? Well, with his admirable response to the London riots in 2011, which started in his constituency in Tottenham, and his highly praised book ‘Out of the Ashes‘, which examined the causes of the riots, he could be in a chance of winning the election. Let’s not forget the fact if he wins the whole thing, he’ll become the first black Mayor of London – a turning pint? Maybe, maybe not. When asked what will happen to his role as MP, he did state he would step down in order to thoroughly carry out his new role. Least he’s not like Boris trying to take on two jobs…
He’s decided to run in order to tackle London’s ever growing housing criss. In a statement, he said:
“People I meet around the city are facing desperate problems of overcrowding, poverty and homelessness as a result of the housing crisis. London’s lack of homes is starving Londoners of the opportunities they should enjoy in this city, and depriving London business of skilled employees who can no longer afford to live and work in the capital.”
It also comes as he has published a report on this exact issue, setting out several proposals to ensure that the 63,000 homes a year that are needed in the capital are actually built. The proposals include:
- Checking whether London’s greenbelt (that’s all the grass, unoccupied land and stuff) sites provide a public benefit. If not, they could be used for building homes.
- Redefine ‘affordable housing’ so the definition of ‘affordable’ – so is linked to average earnings in each borough.
- Introducing a programme of rent controls to protect tenants, limiting rent rises and creating a compulsory London Landlords Register.
- Launching a government-loan scheme for developers to build shared ownership properties.
In the words of Mr Lammy himself, “Moving forward as a global city, there is no doubt that we must build more homes.” Hopefully whoever does win the election to be held in May 2016, let’s hope they have a good strategy to solve the housing crisis and stick to it. There’s no doubt that the role of Mayor of London comes with a great deal of responsibility. Who wins? You decide…