Mayoral election 2021: how will candidates improve east London?

In 1836 passions ran high during the election of a magistrate. Picture: Rui Vieira/ PA Images

Meet the candidates for London's mayoral elections 2021. - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

A record-breaking 20 candidates are in the running to be London’s next mayor. 

Everyone registered to vote on May 6 will have a chance to have their say on who will next lead the capital. 

Following the candidate list announcement on April 1, this newspaper contacted all the contenders to ask them one simple question. 

What will you do to improve the lives of people living in east London?

Seventeen hopefuls got back to us - read their answers here, in alphabetical order by name. 


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The other three candidates are Let London Live’s Piers Corbyn and Independents Max Fosh and Niko Omilana.

The London mayoral race is not the only election to take place on May 6 with people also able to have their say on the London Assembly members.

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Brian Rose, London Real Party

Brian Rose, London Real Party

Brian Rose, who is running for London Mayor in the 2021 election. - Credit: London Real

London has 32 boroughs, each with different challenges, and it’s no different here.

We’ve visited every borough to find out what’s happening on the ground: Hackney, for instance, has seen the biggest average house price increase in the country in 20 years, yet no-one’s thinking about the people who live here or providing them homes.

We’ve identified Hackney Wick and Poplar as sites for a revolutionary modular housing scheme, as part of plans to build 50,000 affordable homes by Christmas. 

Meanwhile, I will put 10,000 more officers on the streets, and get London back to work by scrapping the congestion charge.

Count Binface, Count Binface for Mayor of London

Count Binface, Count Binface for Mayor of London

Count Binface, Count Binface for Mayor of London - Credit: Count Binface

I want to make the world see east London for the thriving, prosperous and happy place that we all know it should be (and in many places already is), not the ludicrous non-stop screaming match as portrayed on the BBC’s EastEnders programme.

To this end I will pay for the writers of EastEnders to actually visit east London, so that for the first time in their lives they can get a clue about what the place is really like.

If I am mayor I will also invest in schools, transport, housing, the arts, and other things that humans vote for.

David Kurten, Heritage Party

David Kurten, Heritage Party

David Kurten, Heritage Party - Credit: David Kurten

All of London has been plagued with road blockages from Streetspace schemes, pop-up cycle lanes and LTNs (low-traffic neighbourhoods).

I will defund and remove them all.

London has also suffered from spiralling violent and petty crime in the last five years.

I‘ll make London safe again by refocusing the police on catching real criminals and driving down crime rather than chasing people on social media and looking for “non-crime hate incidents”.

I will also do everything in my power as mayor to end the lockdown and get all of our businesses, pubs and shops open again with no restrictions.

Farah London, Independent

Farah London, Independent

Farah London, Independent - Credit: Daria Bah

I live in east London and I love the diversity and soul that comes with this part of London.
I will open free youth academies across London to empower youths aged from eight years old to 21 years old in performing arts, creative studios and sports.

I also recognise women are a fundamental part of any community, and I will be opening women’s centres, providing a safe place to learn, socialise, offer mental wellbeing, co-working space and mentorship programs.

Through the centres we will be providing entrepreneur grants for women to become business leaders within the community.

I will be addressing the rising crime rates with a hands-on approach with community leaders - it’s time we take back control with community-led policies.

Kam Balayev, Renew

Kam Balayev, Renew

Kam Balayev, Renew - Credit: Renew

Why me? Well, because London needs a different way.

A new way of managing our economy that takes advantage of the data that we, as Londoners, generate every year, but so far receive very little in return from.

Safer neighbourhoods by tackling organised crime at its source, with a zero-tolerance policy on the knife crime and gang violence that plagues east London’s streets.

Comprehensive support for small businesses, who are the lifeblood of our local communities.
As your next mayor, my sole focus will be on delivering a better future for you and your family.

Laurence Fox, The Reclaim Party

Laurence Fox, The Reclaim Party

Laurence Fox, The Reclaim Party - Credit: Deborah Hurlford Brown

I will unlock London to help Londoners get back to work and enjoy a normal life again.

I will deliver free travel on tubes and buses for six months to help you get back on the move and provide our city with a huge boost.

I will take the politics out of the police and introduce tough New York-style policing to target crime and stop the gangsters from moving into our communities.

I will disband the Mayor’s statue commission [Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm], instead creating new statues to celebrate the lives of great Londoners.

This is your London, it’s your freedom, reclaim it.

Luisa Porritt, Liberal Democrat 

The Liberal Democrats' Luisa Porritt

The Liberal Democrats' Luisa Porritt - Credit: Andrew King Photography

The Liberal Democrats have a plan to take London forward.

It has a clear focus on three basic needs: jobs, homes and clean air.

We will reinvent the high street to put it back at the heart of the community and create decent local jobs.

We will convert empty offices into quality, affordable homes to help tackle the housing crisis.

And we will scrap the polluting Silvertown Tunnel road project, investing in greener public transport instead, to clean up our air.

With the big ideas in our Liberal Democrat plan, I’m ready to “Take London Forward”.

Mandu Reid, Women’s Equality Party

Mandu Reid, Women’s Equality Party

Mandu Reid, Women’s Equality Party - Credit: Siorna Ashby

The Women’s Equality Party will fight tirelessly to end violence against women and girls in east London.

Our city has never had a woman as mayor and it shows - funding for women’s services and charge rates for sexual assault have fallen dramatically over the last decade.

We have high rates of sexual assault and domestic violence is rising.

We can end violence, but only if we make it a political priority.

We would invest in violence prevention programmes, community support services and specialist policing to investigate crimes so that all women can live free from the fear of violence.

Nims Obunge, Independent

Nims Obunge, Independent

Nims Obunge, Independent - Credit: Shepherd Media

East London was my home and is home to nearly three million ethnically diverse people and some of London’s key landmarks.

As your mayor I will:
1. Address the root causes of crime and invest in keeping our streets and homes safe by implementing our robust community and policing plan.
2. Support local councils to fast track our affordable housing schemes.
3. Implement a Covid relief fund addressing food poverty, unemployment and business sustainability.
4. Strengthen the arts, technology and sports sectors.

There is more to do but for now we must demand change because we deserve better.

Peter Gammons, UKIP

Peter Gammons, UKIP

Peter Gammons, UKIP - Credit: Sandra Vijandi

You need a mayor who will consult people and represent them - not force changes on them.

I have strategies for reducing violent crime and protecting women and young people.

I am fighting for cladding victims, cab drivers, renters, to freeze council taxes and for those who cannot afford new electric cars.

I will stop the expansion of congestion charges, bicycle lanes and LTNs (low-traffic neighbourhoods).

It is time to end lockdown and rebuild the economy.

I will protect London’s green spaces and introduce neighbourhood schemes to transform and beautify every community.

So, vote for someone who will fight for you.

Richard Hewison, Rejoin EU

Richard Hewison, Rejoin EU

Richard Hewison, Rejoin EU - Credit: Ben Barnett

Brexit has been a disaster for the people of east London.

If we are elected, we will set up a Brexit Bureaucracy Busters office where experts with experience of living and working in east London will be available to assist businesses struggling to trade with the EU, students eager to study in the EU, artists hoping to perform in the EU, as well as making sure our holidays go ahead as planned.

We can’t restore all lost opportunities stolen by Brexit, but we can at least solve some of the problems now faced.

Put Rejoin EU number one on your ballot.

Sadiq Khan, Labour

Sadiq Khan, Labour

Sadiq Khan, Labour - Credit: PA

If re-elected on May 6, my focus will be on jobs, jobs, jobs.

I will help protect existing jobs, support businesses to create new ones and help Londoners who have lost their job during the pandemic get back into work.

I will build more council homes and campaign for rent controls to get a grip on rising rents in the area.

I’ll also look forward to seeing Eastbrook Studios in Dagenham – which I championed throughout my first term – making its first films.

A vote for me is a vote for a brighter future for east London, after the pandemic.

Shaun Bailey, Conservative

Shaun Bailey at City Hall. Picture: Jon King

Shaun Bailey, Conservative - Credit: Jon King

From its history to its businesses, east London is iconic.

But like many parts of our city, life here has become more difficult over the last five years. So I’m campaigning to give London a fresh start. 

As mayor, I’ll make our streets safer with 8,000 more police.

I’ll reverse the congestion charge hike on day one.

I’ll scrap plans to extend ULEZ to the North and South Circular, so east Londoners aren’t hit with new charges.

And I’ll stop plans for an Outer London Tax that would damage businesses.

With safer streets and lower bills, together we’ll give London a fresh start.

Sian Berry, Green Party 

London Assembly member Sian Berry. Pic GREEN PARTY

Sian Berry. Green Party - Credit: Green Party

Right now, Londoners are crying out for a new start.

A recovery that raises everyone up and creates a secure future.

A Green mayor will bring fresh thinking on housing, and I will work with other mayors around the country to win the powers we need to set rent controls and bring down runaway rents.

Greens have a clear plan to keep London moving, and I’ll bring down fares in outer London by creating a single zone on tube and rail and a flat fare, just like we have on our buses.

We can create the greenest city in the world, with clean air across the whole city and more green spaces for all, but we can only get there with a Green mayor.

Steve Kelleher, Social Democratic Party

Steve Kelleher, Social Democratic Party

Steve Kelleher, Social Democratic Party - Credit: Olly Huitson

Fifty thousand new council houses a year by 2024 and top-priority for applicants born and raised in the borough where they apply. Londoner’s families once again within walking distance, improving neighbourhoods.

Free travel for everyone in the three years up to their 25th birthday, supporting young Londoners getting on with rebuilding life after lockdown.

Ten thousand more officers redeployed to the neighbourhood beats across London. Take politics out of policing – police the streets, not the tweets.

Community-supported stop and search saves lives, so we support it, and trust local police commanders to keep the streets safe.

Valerie Brown, Burning Pink

Valerie Brown, Burning Pink

Valerie Brown, Burning Pink - Credit: Rosie Holtom

When we work together, we make decisions that can change everything.

Through Citizens’ Assemblies, ordinary people with different views get to understand each other, making friends where there was hatred before.

Given all the facts, people sort out difficult problems. This has happened again and again.

I will hand over power to Citizens’ Assemblies.

The people of east London will have their own Assemblies.

Young people need a future they can look forward to.

It’s possible to reduce crime and put an end to poverty. We can respond to the dangers we face from climate change. We can learn from the very best – the best educators, best healthcare, best community organisations.

You decide.

Vanessa Hudson, Animal Welfare Party

Vanessa Hudson, Animal Welfare Party

Vanessa Hudson, Animal Welfare Party - Credit: Graham Hilling

I live in Tower Hamlets and it’s vital to me that good health and opportunity belong to all across east London - not only people but the animals we share our lives with too.

It’s also crucial we protect the natural world so the planet we hand over to our children and grandchildren is habitable.

As we emerge from the pandemic, we face a choice: continue along the path that brought us here or forge a new way.

I believe London must lead the world in a new direction - acting as a beacon of innovation and of healthy, sustainable compassionate living.

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