The massive increase in violent crime in London under Mayor Sadiq Khan has finally been commented on by the mainstream media, with murder figures in the last few months outstripping New York.
After hiding away for days after the initial headlines (a point brutally exposed on LBC Radio by presenter Tom Swarbrick), Khan has ventured out to apportion much of the blame to ‘Government Cuts’.
Whilst I will not defend Home Secretary Amber Rudd on this (or her predecessor, Theresa May) who have both defenestrated our police force, it is interesting to note where Mayor Khan deploys the budget that he has at his command.
It has been much commented about that he now has 900 officers looking over ‘hate crime’ online, something far less dangerous to life and limb than the knives and guns that have resulted in over 50 deaths on London streets this year and many more cases that have required hospital treatment.
Tonight saw another revelation in the pages of the London Evening Standard about his use of public funds, namely the increase in taxpayers’ cash spent on the GLA ‘self promotion budget’.
Political editor Joe Murphy reported on a freedom of information request that showed a rise in spending on publicity from £1.3million to £2.5 million in the past year, including a £300,000 increase in staffing for the Mayor’s media relations and marketing, taking it to a whopping £1,392,000 spent of YOUR money.
Mayor Khan’s spokesperson pointed out that cash had been ‘switched between different budgets’ in an attempt to defend the increase but the basic truth remains this – when lives are being lost on a daily basis in the Capital, for the Mayor to complain about cuts when spending the money he does have on self promotion is a total disgrace and a betrayal of the Londoners he has pledged to serve.
It is time for Sadiq Khan to put the wellbeing of the people of London before his political ambitions or do the decent thing and resign.