By Ahmed J Versi
Shadow Justice Secretary, Sadiq Khan, MP, launched a booklet of policy ideas for London. “I asked leading experts from different backgrounds to write for the booklet to get best ideas for London,” Khan, who is also Shadow Minister for London, told The Muslim News. He says he wants to “kick-start a serious conversation about our capital city.”
The Fabian Society publication, edited by Khan, discusses housing, transport, minimum wage, Crossrail 2, increased airport capacity, new tunnel and bridge crossings east of Tower Bridge, grassroots access in the arts, lack of representation of ethnic minorities in institutions including the police and to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor, what it calls “a tale of two cities”.
In his contribution on housing in Our London, the Capital beyond 2015, Khan argues the need to “establish secure and affordable rents, build more social housing, make affordable housing genuinely affordable, and improve standards in the private rented sector.”
Former Transport Secretary, Lord Adonis, writes on how to improve the greatest problem facing London, public transport. His answer is improved tube capacity, better railways, new bridges and expanded airport capacity.
Baroness Doreen Lawrence says even though London is a city of “incredible diversity but all too often black Londoners are left behind.” There needs to be reform of education, tackling unemployment, reforming the police service and more ethnic representation in politics, business and civil society.
Former Borough Commander for Harrow, Dal Babu and former superintendent in Met Police, Leroy Logan, say the police need to reform to commitment to diversity. “Only then will London’s police properly represent the communities it serves.”
The issues in the booklet will help the Tooting MP, who is in charge of Labour’s London campaign strategy for the 2014 council and European elections, 2015 General elections and 2016 mayoral and GLA elections, to strategise his party’s policies. However, he denied that this was his launching pad for mayoral elections. “I am happy to be MP for Tooting and Shadow Justice Secretary and Shadow Minister for London. My dream is to be Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor.”