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David Cameron warns Londoners against electing a Labour mayor

Published 03/05/2016

Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan are seen as the two frontrunners
Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan are seen as the two frontrunners

David Cameron has warned Londoners against electing a Labour mayor, as he stressed it was vital to maintain a close relationship between government and City Hall.

Speaking at a rally for Tory candidate Zac Goldsmith in south-west London, less than 48 hours before polls open, the Prime Minister heralded his close relationship with the outgoing mayor Boris Johnson, who joined the pair at the event.

Mr Cameron insisted that it was vital to have a Conservative mayor and government working "hand in glove" to deliver for Londoners.

He said: "We can have Crossrail 2, we can have investment, we can have extra jobs with a Conservative mayor working with a Conservative Prime Minister."

The three Conservative MPs were at Grey Court School in Mr Goldsmith's constituency of Richmond Park and North Kingston ahead of Thursday's election.

A poll released on Tuesday found Mr Goldsmith lagging nine points behind Labour's Sadiq Khan, but Mr Cameron joked that he "could tell you a thing or two" about polls following last year's general election success.

The Prime Minister briefly joined in with supporters' chants of "back Zac" during his speech, in which he praised the work achieved by the outgoing Mr Johnson as "outstanding".

He warned voters if they voted Labour they would become "lab-rats" in an experiment, while Mr Johnson told the rally in Richmond that they would have to put up with "high-taxing, high-spending Corbynistas".

Mr Goldsmith then echoed the Prime Minister's suggestion that a Tory alliance in City Hall and government would offer Londoners the best deal. He said he would offer "more homes, better transport, safer streets, cleaner air" by working with Mr Cameron.

Mr Goldsmith also said he would continue campaigning right up until polls opened on Thursday, including joining a London Assembly Conservative candidate who works as a milkman on his daily round on Wednesday morning.

The outgoing mayor urged Londoners not to let the "lefties" back in charge of "the greatest city on Earth".

Mr Johnson also hit out at Mr Khan, comparing him and the Labour Party leadership with the late socialist leader of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez.

He said: "He has emerged from the Corbynistas, the Livingstonians - he comes from that strain of political thinking."

On Tuesday Mr Khan said his party's leadership needs to act far more decisively over allegations of anti-Semitism in the ranks.

He said there could be no place for anyone holding the views of Ken Livingstone, who plunged the party into turmoil last week with his claim that Hitler supported Zionism in the 1930s.

But Mr Khan played down suggestions that the row could damage his election chances.

"I think Londoners recognise on the ballot paper on Thursday you won't see Jeremy Corbyn's name, Ken Livingstone's name, David Cameron or Boris Johnson," he said.

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