LONDONERS will be able to vote on who will become the capital’s next mayor today (May 6).
A record-breaking 20 candidates are in the running but what do we know about them so far?
Read our Elections 2021 live blog for the very latest updates
Who could be London’s mayor?
Labour – Sadiq Khan
Khan is seeking a second term as Mayor after he was first elected in 2016 with 44.2 per cent of the vote.
But even as a favourite fighting for re-election in Labour-dominated London, Khan has a fight on his hands.
After a honeymoon first year, satisfaction ratings slumped to their lowest level this summer.
A YouGov poll found only 30 per cent of Londoners were satisfied with his leadership, and 33 per cent dissatisfied.
While widely praised for showing the capital as open and inclusive, his leadership has been marred by a perceived inability to tackle big issues such as transport infrastructure and knife crime.
The 50-year-old son of a bus driver, London’s first Muslim mayor, will need to convince voters he has what it takes to steer the capital through the next four years.
Conservatives – Shaun Bailey
Tory candidate Shaun Bailey, 49, is the son of a lorry driver, whose grandfather came to Britain from Jamaica as part of the Windrush generation.
Bailey joined the Army cadets while still a teenager and remained with them for another 10 years.
In 2006, he co-founded MyGeneration, a charity for young people, which closed in 2012 due to financial problems.
He attempted to be selected in a number of London constituencies in 2017, including Kensington, Croydon South and Uxbridge South and Ruislip.
Green Party – Sian Berry
The Greens’ co-leader will be standing once again as a 2021 mayoral candidate.
Berry, 45, finished third behind Khan and his rival Zac Goldsmith in 2016.
And she also stood in 2008, coming fourth.
Berry intends to focus on the city’s housing crisis in this comping campaign
She said the Greens were the “only party Londoners can trust to deliver on their promises” with regard to housing.
Renew – Kam Balayev
The Renew Party candidate is Kam Balayev, 39.
He has worked in the international law, global risk and transnational business.
Balayev says: “It’s not about left or right, north or south, just our city working for all Londoners.
“The time has come to recognise that healthcare, housing, clean air and a respectable basic income are human rights for all Londoners.”
Independent – Count Binface
Count Binface has previously challenged both Theresa May and Prime Minister Boris Johnson in general elections.
Binface’s proposals for London are something of a mystery as he did not submit a manifesto to London Elects.
On March 30, 2021, Binface tweeted: “Don’t lend me your vote. GIVE ME IT! AND I’LL GIVE YOU CEEFAX.”
Burning Pink – Valerie Brown
Brown has described herself as a mother, grandmother and vigilante.
The Burning Pink website stated: “She only has one policy: to give the power to the people.”
Brown wants to scrap the position of the mayor and replace it with “Citizens’ Assemblies”.
She says: “I will hand the policy making back to you, taking democracy back to its original vision – power in the hands of the people.”
Brown is also standing on an environmental ticket, saying: “We are in a Climate and Ecological Emergency. We need change.”
Independent – Piers Corbyn
Piers Corbyn, the brother of former Labour leader Jeremy, will run as an independent.
The 73-year-old, from Southwark, South London, is a well known climate change denier and also claims the coronavirus pandemic is a hoax.
He also promotes the conspiracy theories around the 5G mobile network.
Mr Corbyn was born in Chippenham, Wiltshire, and grew up at the family home Yew Tree Manor.
He has a masters degree in Astrophysics from the University of London.
Corbyn wants to end all the Covid lockdowns, intends to stop the vaccine passports and pump more money into health and the NHS.
Independent – Max Fosh
Fosh freely admits he wouldn’t make a good mayor and doesn’t expect to win.
He told the BBC: “I don’t think I would be a good mayor at all. I don’t think I have the expertise or the political knowledge to become London mayor.”
His aim though is to beat Laurence Fox.
He said: “I also want to increase the voter turnout from the younger demographic between 18-25. In the UK, we are lagging behind in terms of young people voting in comparison to our neighbours on the continent.
“If I was elected London mayor, which I know I’m not going to, I would listen to all of the scientists and people from industry to try and get us the best solution to get us out of Covid-19.
“I understand that I have absolutely no chance of winning.”
Reclaim Party – Laurence Fox
The controversial former actor turned political campaigner is taking on Sadiq Khan and Shaun Bailey in the contest on May 6.
He has launched a new “anti-woke” movement, called the Reclaim Party, which is pushing for the lifting of all coronavirus restrictions.
Mr Fox, who was married to Billie Piper and starred in crime drama Lewis from 2006-2015, has repeatedly courted controversy since leaving acting.
In January 2020 he was involved in a race row over remarks on Question Time about the media’s treatment of Meghan Markle.
Later that month he caused further controversy by saying black and working class actors only complain about social justice “after becoming famous”.
In January 2021, he sparked a backlash after tweeting a picture of himself wearing a Covid mask “exemption badge” he bought on Amazon.
Fox has vowed to end the lockdown and reopen London.
He has also said he will “make London a better place to live,” highlighting building more homes and making the streets safer with “tough, New York-style” policing.
He also wants to make the buses and tubes cheaper.
Ukip – Peter Gammons
Dr Gammons is an internationally respected motivational speaker and an award-winning and best-selling author.
He says he wants to create the world’s first underground “Pod” transport system using old tunnels in the city.
Should he be elected mayor he intends to tackle the issue of violent crime, focusing particularly on the safety of women and youngsters.
Gammons has also pledged to make London “affordable” by, in part, freezing council tax and protect renters.
He also wants to make London greener by planting more trees and creating 10 new parks in the capital.
Rejoin EU – Richard Hewison
Richard Hewison is standing on a pro-European Union ticket.
His manifesto states: “Rejoining the EU is a real prospect, but only if you tell the government it is what you want.
“It may not happen tomorrow, but we can start the journey today.
“LEND US YOUR VOTE. PUT US FIRST ON THE BALLOT. TELL THE GOVERNMENT YOU WANT THE BENEFITS OF EU MEMBERSHIP BACK.”
He says: “Millions of Londoners voted to remain in the EU. I will ensure they still have a voice.
“We’ve been badly let down by the opposition parties who’ve left us politically homeless.”
Animal Welfare Party – Vanessa Hudson
Vanessa Hudson is focusing on animal welfare and the environment[/caption]
Vanessa Hudson puts the environment and animal welfare at the heart of her policies.
She says:“I believe London can be a world-leading city not only for people, but for animals and the environment too.”
Hudson wants London to have “carbon net zero status” by 2025.
She also wants to incentivise use of public transport and improve air quality as well as improve the capital’s biodiversity.
Social Democratic Party – Steven Kelleher
Steven Kelleher wants to build 50,000 council homes per year by 2024[/caption]
Born to an Irish immigrant family, Steven Kelleher was born in Bermondsey and grew up on a council estate near the Elephant and Castle.
One of his main policies is to build 50,000 new council houses per year by 2024 with a ‘Points Super Bonus’ for young people.
He has also pledged to back the police without political interference.
Kelleher says: “Crime rates could be halved if we return to community foot patrols, increase beat officers by 10,000 and scrap low priorities like monitoring social media.”
He also wants to provide free public transport for young people.
Heritage Party – David Kurten
Mr Kurten is a former teacher.
He sits with the Brexit Alliance Group on the London Assembly.
In his manifesto he says: “London is a wonderful city, but it desperately needs a change after years of rapidly increasing crime and suffocating political correctness.
“I have been a London Assembly Member for five years standing for free speech, financial responsibility, national sovereignty and traditional family values.
“As Mayor, I will restore SAFETY, LIBERTY and COMMON SENSE to London.”
Independent – Farah London
Ms London is a Croydon-born businesswoman.
She has worked in the commercial sector for 22 years.
Her manifesto states: “I represent all the people of London, not a political party.
“With my leadership London will rediscover its pride and become the city of opportunities I grew up in. Together, we can BRING LONDON BACK.”
She has pledged to support the LGBT community, women’s centres and animal welfare as well as encouraging investment and job opportunities.
Independent – Nims Obunge
Mr Obunge is a pastor who will run in the 2021 mayoral election.
He is the executive of The Peace Alliance which was set up to tackle knife crime.
His manifesto states: “We must demand that those in power do things better. I have not been a Politician, but I now believe London needs new leadership.
“I begun the London Week of Peace and its Leadership Awards, I have buried young Londoners killed on our streets, setting up initiatives to combat violent crime, and chaired the London Criminal Justice Partnership Advisory Board. Presently, we feed thousands of Londoners impacted by poverty and Covid.
“As a director of a fin-tech company I champion the business sector.”
Independent – Niko Omilana
The YouTube star wants to represent young Londoners[/caption]
The 23-year-old YouTube star was born in Staffordshire.
Seen as something of an outsider Omilana though has seen a surge in support in the past few days, according to a poll by Savanta ComRes.
YouTube star KSI and TV presenter Maya Jama are among his celebrity followers.
He has said he was standing because politicians failed to take young people seriously.
He said: “There is no greater leader in the country than me… vote Niko for Mayor of London on May 6 or your breath stinks.”
Liberal Democrats – Luisa Porritt
Luisa Porritt is a Camden councillor[/caption]
Ms Porritt is a Camden councillor.
She served as an MEP between 2019 and 2020 for the Lib Dems.
Her main priorities for London are: “Jobs. Homes. Clean Air.”
Porritt says in her manifesto: “Londoners are uncertain about the future.
“They are worried about their jobs, how unaffordable it is to live here, and the city’s impact on the environment.
“Let’s make every neighbourhood in our city a safe and thriving place to live and work.”
Women’s Equality Party – Mandu Reid
Ms Reid is the leader of the Women’s Equality Party.
She has worked for all three of London’s previous mayors.
Her manifesto states: “Women in London have to live with the largest pay gap, the most expensive childcare and the highest rates of sexual assault in the UK.
“We can build a better, more equal London where no woman has to live in fear of violence.”
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Independent – Brian Rose
Brian Rose is a former banker.
He launched the podcast and YouTube channel London Real in 2011 and has remained as its host and chief executive.
He explained his reasons for running for London mayor to the Evening Standard, saying: “Last year I started thinking, 20 years from now my young boys, aged three and four, are going to say, ‘Daddy, what did you do in the great crisis of 2021? Did you make videos or do something?’
“I told my wife, ‘Honey, I’m going to run for Mayor. She said ‘Why? Your business has never been bigger.’ I had to do it for London.”