Keir Starmer confident Sadiq Khan can secure historic third term as Mayor of London after fears of Susan Hall upset

4 May 2024, 12:36 | Updated: 4 May 2024, 13:26

Starmer is confident Khan will win
Starmer is confident Khan will win. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Keir Starmer has said he is confident Sadiq Khan can win a historic third term as London Mayor, which is a "tight race" between him and Tory candidate Susan Hall.

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Counting in the London mayoral election began at 9am, with the results expected to be announced somewhere between 1.30pm and this evening.

Polls in the run up to Thursday's vote suggested Mr Khan was cruising towards victory. But both Labour and Tory sources have suggested that the race is much closer.

In fact, some within CCHQ felt Ms Hall had a real chance of pulling off an extraordinary upset.

Speaking today, leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, said he was confident Mr Khan can pull off a historic third time.

"Sadiq Khan was absolutely the right candidate," he said.

"He has got two terms of delivery behind him and I am confident that he has got another term of delivery in front of him," Starmer added.

Meanwhile, a Labour source has told LBC's Henry Riley that they are confident Mr Khan will win.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Labour Leader Keir Starmer
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Labour Leader Keir Starmer. Picture: Getty

Mr Khan ran his campaign on promises to provide free school meals for all children in London and make the capital city greener.

It comes after he expanded the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) to cover all of Greater London in August last year.

This was a move heavily criticised by Ms Hall, the Tory candidate, who promised to scrap the policy on day one if she wins.

Ms Hall was also heavily critical of Mr Khan's record on crime, particularly knife attacks, which have surged during his eight years in office.

In a mayoral hustings hosted by LBC last month, Mr Khan defended his approach to policing in London despite recent criticism of Sir Mark Rowley and the Met's handling of 'hate crimes' and divisive protests.

Read More: Starmer admits Labour ‘didn’t win all the seats we wanted’ but vows to ‘fight to win back votes’ as Muslim support falls

Read More: 'No such thing as a free lunch': Susan Hall and Sadiq Khan clash over free school meals at LBC Mayoral debate

Mr Khan said he believed the Met police service is ahead of other police services and that Sir Mark is making "remarkable progress".

"He's got a new Met plan which is a journey to win back the trust and confidence of Londoners," he said.

He went on to say: "We are being tough on crime, supporting the police and tough on the complex causes of crime.

"That’s why homicides are down, gun crime is down, knife injury for those under 25 is down and burglaries are down."

But Conservative mayoral candidate Susan Hall argued that: “London is in a very serious situation and we’ve got to make sure we recuperate the situation".

Watch Again: LBC's London mayoral candidate debate

She said people “cannot see their local police” as she defended a Daily Express article where she described London as being “under seige”.

Mr Khan responded: “We’re not watching The Wire.”“Londoners do not feel safe," Ms Hall said.

"There’s a phone stolen every six minutes in London. You tell that to people who can’t wear their watches in London.

“I was told by people running the night-time economy that they are concerned because there are gangs running through the streets.”

Other candidates include the Liberal Democrats' Rob Blackie and the Green Party's Zoe Garbett.

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