Labour’s incumbent Sadiq Khan won this year’s mayoral election in a run-off with the Conservatives’ Shaun Bailey, securing himself a second term in office.
In the lead up to the election, the News questioned each of the candidates on five key topics for our readers: housing, crime, the environment, the economy and transport.
The election, delayed by a year due to Covid, went to a run-off after neither of the leading candidates got a clear majority of 50 per cent or more in the first round. Khan ended up with 55.2 per cent of the vote in the run off, winning with a clear majority of 228,000 in the end.
The Green Party’s Sian Berry came third, while the Lib Dems’ Luisa Porritt trailed home in fourth, losing her deposit.
Like the rest of the capital, Southwark residents tended to vote for Khan, with 51 per cent of votes in the borough going to the Labour candidate.
Some 20 candidates entered the running for the mayoral race in 2021, more than in any other year.
Candidates with a Southwark connection included the Walworth-based lockdown sceptic Piers Corbyn and Steve Kelleher, who grew up on the Rockingham Estate in Elephant and Castle.
The other candidates were:
• Kam Balayev, Renew
• Count Binface, Count Binface for Mayor of London
• Valerie Brown, Burning Pink
• Max Fosh, Independent
• Laurence Fox, Reclaim Party
• Peter Gammons, UKIP
• Richard Hewison, Rejoin EU
• Vanessa Hudson, Animal Welfare Party
• David Kurten, Heritage Party
• Farah London, Independent
• Nims Obunge, Independent
• Niko Omilana, Independent
• Mandu Reid, Women’s Equality Party
• Brian Rose, London Real Party
All candidates agreed on the urgent need for more housing that ordinary Londoners can afford, with varying methods suggested for achieving this. A recurring theme was converting brownfield sites into housing.
Answers on the question of knife crime varied from putting more ‘bobbies on the beat’ to tackling the root social causes of crime, to getting police to stop taking the knee.
Asked what they made of the borough’s controversial low traffic neighbourhoods brought in in 2020, candidates’ answers ranged from highly supportive to critical of the level of consultation carried out before the schemes were introduced.
Solutions for Southwark’s high streets, ailing in the pandemic, included lowering rents for small businesses, introducing business rates holidays and making buses and the Tube free to use for six months to get people out again.
Asked what transport options they would offer in place of the shelved Bakerloo Line extension, candidates said they would put in more TfL bikes, set up an infrastructure bank to get investment into London transport and bring in more electric buses, among other ideas.
As well as the mayoral election, Southwark and Lambeth’s London Assembly seat stayed Labour, with Marina Ahmad replacing Florence Eshalomi, now the MP for Vauxhall.