Last night’s rare opportunity for Londoners to directly quiz their mayor was scheduled in the middle of the England match – but that didn’t save Sadiq Khan. He was faced by furious members of the public concerned about crime during the LBC debate – not even James O’Brien could spare the mayor’s blushes. An indication of just how unsafe people feel…
The Met Police has released the latest year-on-year crime stats. They are not good reading for under pressure Sadiq Khan or beleaguered Amber Rudd…
- Murder: Up 12% over previous month; up 52% over last 12 months;
- Violence against the person: Up 16% over last month; over 5% over last 12 months;
- Knife crime: Up 8% on last month; up 21% over last 12 months;
- Gun crime: Up 21% on last month; up 5% over last 12 months;
- Robbery: Up 5% over last month; up 36% over last 12 months;
- Robbery of mobile phone: Up 3% on last month; up 32% over last 12 months.
Overall crime in London is up 6%. Meanwhile in England and Wales sharp implement offences are up 22%, firearms offences are up 11%, robbery are up 33%. Alexa Bradley, an ONS analyst, said:
“Eight in ten adults had not experienced any of the crimes asked about in our survey in the latest year. We have seen an increase in the relatively rare, but ‘high-harm’ violent offences such as homicide, knife crime and gun crime, a trend that has been emerging over the previous two years.
“We have also seen evidence that increases in some types of theft have continued, in particular vehicle-related theft and burglary.”
Are Rudd and Khan going to do anything about it?
London office rentals are soaring according to two separate reports released this week. 2.3 million square feet of office space was let in central London in the three months to March 31, according to estate agent JLL. That’s 14% up on last year and 5% up on the ten year average…
Meanwhile agents CBRE say they have had the strongest first quarter since 2012. The firm estimates more than 9 million square feet of office space is being sought in London. Just last November the FT claimed the future of the London office rental market “looks distinctly grey… Companies are already rushing to secure space elsewhere. European rental markets are booming.” Look forward to their update…
As London knife crime tops the media agenda City Hall watchers are wondering: where is Sadiq Khan? The mayor is under intense and increasing media pressure over London’s knife crime crisis as the total number of suspected murders in 2018 rose this week to 50. Rumours were swirling last night that Sadiq was uncontactable; some City Hall staff presumed he was on holiday as he had not been seen in the office. City Hall told Guido this morning:
“He’s been in London all week and is in City Hall today.”
If he’s at work, why hasn’t he spoken out? His office told journalists last night that the mayor could not comment on the knife crime crisis because of the ‘purdah‘ period ahead of the upcoming council elections on May 4th. That’s curious, because deputy mayor Sophie Linden – bound by the same rules – has been all over broadcast, sitting down on the GMB sofa yesterday morning. Khan himself has previously criticised the government for hiding behind the purdah rules. When will Sadiq do something?
London remains the top city in the world for financial services despite a widespread scaremongering from remainers who claimed its prowess would be diminished post-Brexit. London leads this year’s Z/Yen global financial centres index, CityAM reports, and is the only European city in the top 15 of 110 listed. Frankfurt, widely tipped as a beneficiary of a ‘Brexodus’, fell nine places. The index draws on 103 data points provided by global organisations and a survey of 2300 financial professionals. They rated London as having the most competitive business environment, a better reputation than any of its rivals, and the best financial infrastructure.
A central argument made by remainers during the campaign and after was that Brexit would have a negative impact on the City. The Bank of England said 75,000 jobs in financial services would be lost. LSE Chief Xavier Rolet said 200,000 would go. Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein famously tweeted he would be “spending a lot more time” in Frankfurt (despite his firm expanding its London office). None of these predictions have come off – in fact, London has remained the world’s leading city for finance, streets ahead of any European rival. Experts, eh…
Bold of Labour’s Emma Dent Coad to tweet out London’s dire crime statistics for the last year:
In London knife offences up 23%, robberies up 30%, 14% jump in vehicle thefts and break-ins and tragically a 19% increase in killings. Half of the 20% national rise in gun crime reported in London as well. Things are going backwards under the Tories.
— Emma Dent Coad (@emmadentcoad) January 25, 2018
She knows Sadiq is in charge of policing in the capital, right…
Sadiq Khan is on the media round this morning shamelessly promoting his negative “new independent economic analysis” on Brexit. What Khan isn’t mentioning quite so loudly is that he commissioned the report from Cambridge Econometrics, the firm Corbyn’s tax-and-spend ‘economic guru’ Richard Murphy calls home. So right-on is Murphy when it comes to Corbynomics, the Labour leader is said to have considered one day ennobling him…
As Guido already revealed, both Cambridge Econometrics and Murphy have consistently predicted negative economic outcomes from Brexit since before the referendum. Murphy:
- Predicted a Leave victory would “trigger recession”;
- Called leavers “intellectually bankrupt”;
- Argued the EU referendum result is not binding (“why does everyone say the referendum was binding? By definition democracy is reversible”);
- Said “only England” wants Brexit, excluding London.
Before the impact assessments were complete, Philip Summerton, Cambridge Econometrics managing director, was tweeting that Brexit would cost “hundreds of thousands” of jobs. Again, before the reports were written, Summerton attributed low growth forecasts to Brexit. He has also publicly praised Sadiq Khan’s “prudence” and criticised David Davis…
Just imagine the shock as it turns out Khan’s ‘independent’ studies are exceedingly pessimistic. Who would have guessed it…
With London suffering a knife-crime epidemic you’d think maintaining police numbers would be high on Sadiq Khan’s priority list. This time last year the mayor promised: “I am determined to maintain the strategic target of 32,000 police officers across London”.
This morning, Khan let slip to Londoners that he had broken that promise. He told the London Assembly Budget and Performance Committee that the target of 32,000 officers “has gone.” Khan explained:
“What we’re budgeting for in 18-19 is an average of 30,000 police officers and the commissioner is working incredibly hard to make sure she can meet the needs of Londoners with an average of 30,000 officers.”
Yet another let down to add to Khan’s growing list of broken pledges. How does he keep getting away with this?
“I want to be crystal clear – no ifs, no buts – what you’ll pay if I’m elected Mayor in May 2016 is what you’ll pay at the end of my 4 years in office.”
Knife crime rose by 31.3% in London year-on-year between 2015/16 and 2016/17 according to figures from the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime. Data disclosed in a December report authored by Sadiq Khan’s own Deputy Mayor Sophie Linden showed ‘knife crime’ as categorised by City Hall was up 31.3% (from 10,724 in 2015/16 to 14,076 in 2016/17). ‘Knife crime with injury’ was up 20.7%. Four more were killed in stabbings on New Year’s Eve.
Meanwhile according to a Met Police FOI disclosure, data to the latest available month (October 2017) also shows that knife crime is up. Total knife crime across the MPS’s major crime categories of violence against the person, sexual offences and robbery were up to 12,119 offences in 2016/17 from 9,745 in 2015/16. That’s a rise of 24%.
In the years before Khan became mayor the numbers had fallen significantly – the Tories had got the numbers down to between 10 and 15 deaths of young people per year from over 30. Why isn’t Sadiq facing more pressure on this? It should really be a much bigger story…
Five solar-powered “smart benches” installed throughout Jez’s constituency will be ripped up after the Corbynista politician in charge failed to seek planning permission from her own council. Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington’s Executive Member for Transport and Environment – and pro-Corbyn NEC member – oversaw a project to erect the elaborate high-tech benches in North London. The seats contain phone charging sockets and offer free wi-fi, but also feature a slew of environmental probes which monitor temperature, CO2, humidity and even ambient noise levels. At the time of their installation, Webbe told the Islington Gazette:
“These pioneering Smart Benches offer the best advances in smart technology and we are very pleased Islington is one of the first places in London to trial them. We look forward to seeing how they benefit residents, workers and visitors alike.”
Strawberry Energy, the firm which designed the benches, said their environmental credentials were:
“Especially relevant in support of London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s aim to improve the capital’s air quality.”
But Webbe and her colleagues failed to obtain the necessary approvals before works went ahead. Retrospective applications for five out of six benches were rejected last month by Webbe’s own planning department. The taxpayer will meet the cost of ripping them from the ground…
Planning documents reveal the project would probably never gone ahead had permission been sought prior to construction. The Metropolitan Police warned users would be at risk of having their phones stolen and that the benches could be subject to criminal damage. Transport for London objected outright to several of the benches, saying they “add to street clutter in a designated conservation area.” Residents group the Islington Society said they were “a blight on the borough landscape”. Guido has asked the Labour-run council to put a figure on the total cost of the project, including of ripping up the smart benches. Corbynistas lose seats…
Webbe was an early supporter of Corbyn’s leadership bid and worked on Ken Livingstone’s London mayoral campaign. Just this week she gave an interview where she condemned moderate Labour MPs, saying:
“Parliament is so all consuming MPs almost forgot what the real world is about and they had become so believing of their own hype. What was sustaining them was their interaction with the mainstream media and their interactions with big businesses. There is a real world out there. It’s not that they didn’t know austerity was biting and hurting.”
Yet you found the cash to waste on this…
Sadiq Khan is still taxing Londoners to pay for the 2012 Olympics despite the bill for the games having been met, breaking a key campaign promise to abolish the ‘one-off’ levy. Khan said he would drop a council tax precept which amounts to £8 on the average band D property once the £625 million bill for the Olympics had been paid off by 2017. During a City Hall budget debate this week it emerged Khan is continuing to impose the tax and is now directing the funds towards non-Olympic projects. London Assembly Member Gareth Bacon says:
“The mayor needs to apologise to Londoners for breaking his promise to remove this tax. He also needs to properly balance his books without using Olympic money, which was never intended to be his blank cheque.”
This is Khan’s seventh broken promise in eight months…
Corbyn’s spinners are working overtime to stress their Shadow Cabinet’s northern roots. The truth of course is London Labour is the epicentre of the loony left – the Leader, Shadow Foreign Secretary, Shadow Brexit Secretary and Shadow Home Secretary occupy four neighbouring constituencies in North London. Add McDonnell and all of Jez’s top team is based within dinner party distance…