The MP for Harrow West on what he'd do with the jobby Prospect Team / June 10, 2015 / Leave a comment
Who will be London’s next Mayor? Read more on the race for City Hall
Gareth Thomas, MP for Harrow West since 1997, is notable for being a candidate from Outer London—an area both previous incumbents of city hall have been accused of neglecting. He held a range of Ministerial and Shadow Ministerial roles under Blair, Brown and Ed Miliband, ranging from International Development to Business, Innovation and Skills.
In one sentence, why should you be London Mayor? I am the candidate who is determined to champion London, and Londoners having more say over our city, and our lives.
What’s the biggest problem to solve for London in 2016-2020? I think there are a number, but I’d single out investment in [transport] infrastructure as being crucial to create the decent jobs of the future, and help us tackle poverty in London. There is a significant need for already recognised investment in Crossrail 2; for extending tube lines south of the river; for extending the DLR further out into east London, and sorting out many of the suburban rail lines which are very crowded at the moment, and suffer from delays.
What was the best aspect of Boris Johnson’s administration? The thing I agree with him on is the need to devolve control of property taxes to London, and for there to be more devolution of responsibilities to London. The one act I would cite where I think he did well is the establishment of the London Finance Commission. We need to go much further now and push for, for example, the same opportunities to shape the future of our health and social care that is being offered to Greater Manchester.
If as Mayor you could have one new devolved power from the government, what would it be? That’s a false choice. I think we should have more control over our National Health Service budget. I think we should have control over our skills and training budget too. The two matter, but they matter for different reasons. We should be ambitious in what we’re pushing for, rather than trying to limit ourselves to just one ask.
What is your definition of a Londoner? Anybody who lives in London and is committed to staying, and wants the best for London and Londoners. If you use and depend on London’s services, then you are a Londoner and you should expect your Mayor to be acting in your interests.