Siobhan Benita for Mayor of London

Business, a winning feeling and three years after Brexit: Siobhan Benita's campaign diary


key_merton_(1).jpg

Siobhan Benita with the Lib Dems' newest councillor Jenifer Gould.  This week's update from life on the campaign trail as the Lib Dems' candidate to be our next Mayor of London. 

Tuesday  

Youth work transforms lives and it was brilliant to see youth work happening in a really dynamic setting at the amazing Future Youth Zone in Barking and Dagenham.  

I was joined on the visit by Richard Flowers, our GLA candidate for City and East, to see the new facility after it opened last month. With a sports hall, gym, 3G all-weather pitch, skate park, music room with recording suite, training kitchen, dance studio, arts and crafts area and much more there is so much for young people to get involved with.

It was set up by Onside Youth Zones, bringing together the private sector, local authority, young people and the community.

If we are going to tackle serious issues like knife crime, we must address the root causes - ensuring that young people have access to spaces and professionals who can help them is a crucial part of that approach.  I am delighted, therefore, that there are two more of these centres planned for Barnet and Croydon later this year and I plan to visit both.

Wednesday 

I headed to the City to meet a group of influential business people and entrepreneurs. Following the recent Lib Dem success in the European Elections, I was keen to hear their views on stopping Brexit and how damaging the Government's current plans would be to London. There was clear support for a business friendly Mayor who wants to keep the City open and international. 

I highlighted the importance of a reliable public transport system and affordable housing needing to be available for business to thrive. The comments we heard underlined difficulties caused by the five day strike on SouthWest trains which was a disruption to many companies with key staff struggling to get in or having to work from home.   

Thursday 

I joined Jenifer Gould for a morning campaigning session on by-election day. The campaign has been a great example of Lib dem teamwork as so many activists came to help from across London.   

And what a fantastic result Jenifer got in Cannon Hill, becoming the seventh member of the Lib Dem group on Merton council. Crucially, it was our first gain from Labour in London since 2010, and the Labour vote that swung to us in the European elections appears to be sticking. Long may that continue! 

Friday

Current mayor Sadiq Khan flew in the face of environmental concerns to approve the Silvertown road tunnel while, almost to the same day, pausing the pedestrian and cycling bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf.

Our Liberal Democrats AM Caroline Pidgeon had put the mayor on the spot with tough questioning in Mayoral Question Time on Wednesday and joined schoolchildren protesting about the impact on air quality the tunnel will bring.

I am delighted to have Caroline at the top of our London list for next year's elections, and we will be working hard to make sure we have a strong Lib Dem contingent in the Assembly. Sign up here to help our campaign for the London 2020 mayoral and assembly elections.

 

Saturday

On Windrush Day, the Lib Dems' Floella Benjamin announced the Windrush monument will be built at Waterloo Station.

The Windrush generation and their families have shaped London and our country - from building the NHS to amazing food and vibrant culture - so it is fantastic their contribution will be recognised in this way. 

The scandal of the Tories' hostile environment, which left so many in limbo or even deported has been shameful. I was glad to see Ed Davey, my local MP, highlighting how the Lib Dems are working to curb the Tory aggression against immigration and develop a kinder, fairer system. 

Sunday

Siobhan speaking at the People's Vote March earlier this year

It is three years since the EU referendum - and my third anniversary of joining the Liberal Democrats. Like so many, I joined after hearing the result, passionate about our place in Europe.

I joined not just to fight Brexit - although that is the immediate challenge - but also to be part of a strong progressive force that is defending and shaping the kind of future I want for this country and for my family and my friends.  

Three years on and I have not looked back.  This is a party to be proud of and I am delighted that it is now clearly a party that represents the values of millions of people. 

On every key issue from Brexit to Climate change, LGBT+ rights to education, we are progressive, principled and kind.

I’m so proud to be the London Mayoral candidate for this party.

If you would like to help fight Brexit, defend our liberal values and build a progressive, kinder future for our country then please join us.


Share this post on social media:

Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or Email.