London Mayor Sadiq Khan leads rally for Labour’s Tulip Siddiq in Swiss Cottage
London Mayor says Hampstead and Kilburn residents need an MP prepared to challenge Prime Minister Theresa May as she negotiates Brexit
06 May, 2017 — By Tom Foot
Labour supporters back Tulip Siddiq ahead of the June 8 general election
SADIQ Khan insisted Labour could recover from its “disappointing” local elections results around the country and urged voters to “stop an extreme Brexit” by backing Tulip Siddiq at next month’s general election.
The London Mayor praised Ms Siddiq, who is in the thick of a battle to hold her parliamentary seat in Hampstead and Kilburn, for relentlessly raising residents’ concerns in the House of Commons and holding Prime Minister Theresa May to account.
He told the New Journal: “The elections were disappointing for Labour, we cannot pretend otherwise. But there are five weeks to go to the general election and we are going to work our socks off to get brilliant candidates like Tulip Siddiq elected. What I say to your readers is: ‘who is more likely to stand up to a Prime Minister, Tulip Siddiq, or a Conservative MP?'”
He added: “What you want in this community is an advocate and a champion for the community, you want someone who will say boo to goose. The record for most questions asked in PMQs is from Tulip Siddiq. The person standing up for Londoners, 17,000 EU citizens in Hampstead and Kilburn by the way, is Tulip Siddiq. The person who saying we want a good deal with EU, because it means jobs, growth and security, is Tulip Siddiq.”
“Theresa May called election early so she can have autonomy to have extreme hard Brexit. If you don’t want an extreme hard Brexit, vote Tulip Siddiq on June 8.”
Mr Khan was speaking after a Labour rally of more than 150 supporters outside the Hampstead Theatre in Swiss Cottage at around 1pm today (Saturday).
The last major political event in Swiss Cottage was a lively protest between anti and pro “CS11” campaigners in September last year.
Mr Khan in December announced that works to build the cycle superhighway, from Swiss Cottage to Regent’s Park, would begin in Autumn. With a few months to go, he could not say whether the major scheme was still on schedule but that the debate should not be about “about cyclists v car drivers and mums and dads”, adding: “I want to make sure we get it right.”
When asked why he had congratulated former Conservative Chancellor George Osborne after he was named editor of the Evening Standard, and whether he believed to would continue to enjoy regular positive double page spreads in his newspaper, which named him as its “number one Londoner” last year, Mr Khan said: “I congratulated George Osbone, like I congratulated Theresa May when she was PM, and like I do to anyone in a new job. I am very magnanimous, it’s really important to be like that.”
He added: “My view is very simple: one of the joys of living in a democracy is having a free press. I wish George well and I think he made the right choice by the way [standing down as MP]. We must celebrate the fact we have a free press. We would just once in a while like fair coverage. But what It’s important we recognise that people are cynical about what people perceive as the elite and the Establishment. The great thing about Tulip is she’s been an advocate and fighter for the community working closely with the local press. Sometime with unfavourable coverage, sometimes fair and favourable coverage. The key thing is to have a champion for the area.”
Ms Siddiq told the crowd: “I went to school here, my parents got married in Kilburn in the 1970s, I’m the daughter of political asylum seeker. I want to remind people we need a Labour Party back in to make sure our schools and NHS is protected, and to make sure we stop a hard Brexit.”