Lib Dem runner unveils plan to ‘take London forward’ 


Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Luisa Porritt unveiled her election manifesto with a pledge to “take London forward” if elected on May 6.

Speaking from a co-working space in Richmond, Ms Porritt said that Londoners who “feel let down by Labour and the current mayor” should “tell them you want more” and “tell them you want something better”.

As part of the manifesto launch, the former MEP and current Camden councillor revealed details of several policies including a newly announced pledge to introduce a flexible travel card that could save Londoners up to £520 a year.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Ms Porritt said: “The flexible travel card is recognising the fact that businesses and organisations across the capital are changing the way that they work.

“They’re downsizing their office space. Employees are going to spend more time working from home than they did in the past. So, knowing that the five-day commute is over, this responds to that change and instead of having a seven-day pass, we’re offering a four-day pass that would effectively cost the same as a three-day one, so its saving Londoners £520 a year. It means it is more cost effective for them to go into the office when they need to.”

The manifesto also details plans to improve housing by setting up a London Housing Company, which would be a City Hall-backed developer, as well as plans to improve London’s air quality by cancelling the controversial Silvertown Tunnel and introducing a smart road charging scheme.

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On the issue of crime, the Liberal Democrat candidate said that “we need to restore trust between the Metropolitan Police and the communities they serve” and that she would oversee a “return to proper community policing” that would see neighbourhood officers embedded in their local communities.

Ms Porritt also said she would scrap suspicionless stop and search and that she would set up a Women’s Board to monitor the mayor’s strategy for ending violence against women and girls and ensure that targets are met and that new ideas are considered.

Joining Ms Porritt in Richmond was Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey, who is also MP for nearby Kingston, and local Lib Dem council leaders Gareth Roberts and Caroline Kerr.

The Liberal Democrats’ strong presence in south west London “doesn’t mean that there isn’t a Liberal Democrat presence and that there aren’t Liberal Democrat voters elsewhere in the capital”, said Luisa Porritt.

She added: “There is room for a progressive, liberal alternative in our politics, all over the country actually, not just here in London. But I think our values align very closely with Londoners.

“We’re a progressive, outward looking internationalist liberal city and that’s why I’m optimistic for our prospects here.”

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