Rory Stewart: I'd resign as Mayor if I fail to reduce knife crime

23 January 2020, 10:20 | Updated: 23 January 2020, 11:13

Rory Stewart told LBC he is so confident that he can reduce knife crime that he would resign as Mayor of London if he failed.

The former Conservative leadership candidate is standing as an independent in the London Mayoral election in May.

And in a veiled swipe at current Mayor Sadiq Khan, he said that the buck would stop with him on violent crime and he wouldn't just sit there and blame cuts from central government.

Responding the figures that show knife crime has risen to a record high, Rory said: "It's completely shocking. It's not so long ago that these figures were at 25,000 and we're now up at 44,000.

"This is something that can be turned around. We need the Mayor to say 'I'm taking responsibility. I'm the Police and Crime Commissioner and I'm going to provide the leadership and get behind the exceptional people in the Metropolitan Police to reduce crime.'

"As I did in Prisons, when I said I would resign unless I reduced violent crime in prisons, if I became Mayor, I would say very straightforwardly 'I will reduce violent street crime'. You have to be accountable."

Nick Ferrari spoke to Rory Stewart in Ring Rory
Nick Ferrari spoke to Rory Stewart in Ring Rory. Picture: LBC

When Nick pressed on whether that meant he was willing to resign if he didn't succeed, Mr Stewart said: "I would be very tempted to resign as Mayor. If I thought I had failed in the fundamental contract with the public.

"I am so confident this can be done, that we can reduce crime and we have the plan to do it, I would be prepared to resign if I failed to do it. That's the kind of leadership you need."

Watch his promise at the top of the page.