Siobhan Benita for Mayor of London

Why Siobhan, why now


I want to be London’s first female mayor and London’s first Lib Dem mayor.

I believe I can create a better, kinder capital, one in which no child feels so scared that they have to carry a knife. One in which the air we breathe is not a silent killer. An affordable, equal city that supports aspiration, is the global capital of business and innovation, and is a world leader in wellbeing.

And then there’s Brexit. No one can predict where we’ll be by the time of the mayoral election in May 2020. But I will make this pledge to you now. I will do everything possible to stop a calamitous exit from the EU and to protect Londoners.

London is a liberal city. And London is a Remain city. The European elections showed that we are now the popular and credible choice for voters across the capital. We have a new and dynamic young leader in Jo Swinson and we have high-profile MPs defecting to us from the Tory and Labour parties. Thousands of Londoners have also been coming over to us because of Brexit. I joined the Liberal Democrats on 24 June 2016, the morning of the EU Referendum result. Like me, Londoners are realising the LibDems represent their values more than any other party. And they're finding we have attractive policies on the vital issues they care about like the environment, housing, crime and policing.

I'm not going to deny that Labour's Sadiq Khan will be a tough opponent but he is beatable. Having failed to get to grips with the escalating knife crime crisis, having closed down local police stations, having failed to do enough to tackle our toxic air, having failed to deliver Crossrail, Sadiq Khan's popularity has been steadily declining. In a recent YouGov poll, Sadiq’s satisfaction ratings were negative for the first time, with less than a third of Londoners saying they were satisfied with his performance, compared to 33% who were dissatisfied. Sadiq Khan has not delivered a new vision for London. He hasn’t delivered any recognisable improvements or innovations during his time in City Hall. And his association with Jeremy Corbyn’s anti-Semitic and Brexit-dithering Labour Party is also losing him the support of many moderate Labour voters across the capital.

And we're winning over Tory voters too. Our recent analysis shows that a significant proportion of liberal Tories in London voted for us the European elections and can be persuaded to vote for us again in the mayoral election next year.

There's never been a more important moment for people who support moderate, sensible and honest politics to come together - and defeat the extremes on both the left and right of politics.

I have the experience and competence to bring the best out of London. I've worked right at the heart of government, as a senior civil servant in the Cabinet Office, and across a broad range of departments including Transport, Environment, Health and Local Government. I know how to get things done. I regularly represented the UK government at home and abroad. I can be your voice and face and represent your London at home and abroad.

And I have the expertise to tackle one of the most pressing issues facing Londoners - knife crime. As a member of the cross-party parliamentary commission looking into the root causes of serious youth violence in London and the UK, I have fresh ideas and will make tackling knife crime a top priority.

I believe I am the person who can offer an exciting and hopeful future for London. I hope you will join me.

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