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London mayor election 2016: Breaking down the business agendas of six candidates

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Boris Johnson has bowed out of City Hall after an eight-year stint in control of political decisions in Britain’s capital.

And with a new replacement imminent, we’ve put together a breakdown of his would-be successors to determine the impact they’ll have for businesses should the plea for power be a triumph.

Aside from a fallout with prime minister David Cameron over the ongoing EU Referendum debate, Johnson’s most notable move this year has been the reveal of a plan to take 800 London-based SMEs global with an agenda to support worldwide expansion.

But what can the other candidates bring to the table?

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Sian Berry, Greens

Motto: The power of good ideas

Camden councillor Sian Berry, originally from Cheltenham, has been based in the capital throughout her career. As a transport campaigner and private rent tenant, her big goal is to make travel fares fairer while introducing more affordable housing for Londoners. Berry got behind the #StayFareMayor campaign created by the London taxi industry with a promise to support black cabs with technological advancements.

Business agenda:

Berry has devised a Bank for London to support small businesses and “build a more resilient local economy”, providing loans and finance.

She wants to get rid of City Airport to cut pollution, while turning the area into a community of businesses and homes. She claims the 500,000 square metre site could create at least 16,000 jobs.

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Sadiq Khan, Labour

Motto: A mayor for all Londoners

Sadiq Khan, born and bred in London, is using his humble roots as a means of engaging with the people. Boasting a council estate upbringing and a father who was a bus driver, Khan is also hoping to appeal to the city’s multicultural environment by citing his pride of being a Muslim. All of this combined, in addition to running a law business and serving as transport minister, is what makes Khan sure he can be a man of the people.

Business agenda:

Creation of a Business Advisory Board to discover growth challenges of companies, while including them within policy planning.

Acknowledge the skills gap with a Skills for Londoners scheme to work closely with businesses, enabling them to posses the skills required for scaling.

Khan also plans to prevent business space losses by working with local authorities, while he will also make a case for London industry to push overseas for overseas growth.

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Zac Goldsmith, Conservatives

Motto: Back Zac: Delivering for Londoners

Born into wealth, Zac Goldsmith’s father was billionaire businessman James Goldsmith. Having grown up in the capital, Goldsmith started his career as a journalist prior to moving into politics and hopes to continue holding the torch for the Conservatives following Johnson’s eight-year run. As MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, Goldsmith is focused on community appeal, having supported local projects, he wants to expand that mantra for London to bring families together, support young adults and cut pollution.

Business agenda:

Slashing red tape is on Goldsmith’s radar as he looks to provide startups a simplified environment that makes things easier for business growth.

Creation of a Business Advisory Group, the members of which would be nominated by business leaders and entrepreneurs.

While he will champion the night tube created by Johnson, Goldsmith also plans to deliver fast broadband to offer commuters seamless connectivity through TfL’s 560km of routes.

Continue reading on the next page to hear what controversial candidates including former Big Brother contestant George Galloway and UKIP’s Peter Whittle have planned.


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