London leans Labour. Even in 2019, burdened by Brexit fatigue and the calamitous leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, the party secured 49 of the capital’s 73 seats. But when it comes to mayoral contests, it is very much a tale of two cities.
A YouGov poll published in today’s Evening Standard finds that Sadiq Khan is stuck with a rating of -24 in populous suburban boroughs, compared with +5 in the 13 inner London boroughs plus the City of London. His overall rating is a lukewarm -12, compared with +1 for Tory challenger Susan Hall.
Such a split between the core and the outer “doughnut” is nothing new. Boris Johnson, the only Conservative to have won in London, based his strategy on piling up the votes in leafy boroughs. But the extension to the Ultra low emission zone, set to come into force a week today, appears to have turbocharged the phenomenon.
There is some good news for Khan in the polling. Hall’s lead in popularity appears nearly wholly predicated on the fact that she remains largely unknown to most Londoners. Something likely to change as election day approaches and voters are asked to make a choice.
Shame of the Met
More negative headlines for the Metropolitan Police, more reason for Londoners to mistrust the people who should be there to protect them: a former Met officer revealed as a serial rapist is set to be sentenced.
Adam Provan, 44, carried out his attacks during a 16-year policing career, including repeatedly raping a fellow officer before proceeding to attack a 16-year-old girl. Following guilty verdicts earlier his year, the judge criticised Met bosses, saying they ought to be “ashamed” of their initial response to concerns about Provan — which were raised before he raped the girl.
Perhaps a police force branded by the Baroness Casey Review as institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic should no longer have the power to shock. But the Met still finds a way. The challenge for Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley to fundamentally change the organisation he now leads has never felt greater.
Floral fashion hell
Once you see it, you can never unsee it — the hordes of Londoners walking around our fair city in floral midi dresses and box-fresh white shoes. Our fashion writer Joe Bromley has had enough of the “visual pollution” that is “sapping the personality from our streets.”
His advice? Take a risk, bring the joy and feed fun back into the atmosphere. There’s no point in looking like everyone else.