Advertisement

Levelling-up ‘not a zero-sum game’ says Sadiq Khan

Levelling-up and economic growth in other regions of the UK does not have to come at the expense of London, Mayor Sadiq Khan has said.

During a visit to the Francis Crick Institute on Wednesday alongside shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, Mr Khan also characterised the Government as “anti-London”.

Mr Khan said that economic growth in the UK is “not a zero-sum game”.

He said: “London needs the rest of the country, just like the rest of the country needs London. Our country only prospers and does well, when we do well and we only do well when other parts of the country do well as well.

London Growth Plan announcement
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan with Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves during a visit to the Francis Crick Institute in London (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

“The national growth plan that Rachel Reeves has talked about wants to help create 500,000 jobs across the country. We’d get a portion of that. We frankly need jobs created in West Yorkshire. Why? Because they build the buses, the electric buses. We want jobs to be created in the East Midlands why? Because they build our electric taxis. We need jobs to be created in other parts of the country to build our trains and so forth.

“So it’s not a zero-sum game. London doing well is not at the expense of other parts of the country, it’s as well as other parts of the country.”

Asked by reporters what new powers he would like to see devolved to London if a Labour government were to be elected, Mr Khan told reporters: “The really big thing that a Labour government can give us which Rachel (Reeves) confirmed today is a reset in the relations between the government and us.

London Growth Plan announcement
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said that shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves’ plan will reset relations between the government and London (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

“That is important because we have had for too long a Government that appears to be anti-London, that thinks the way to level up our country, to make it more equal, is to make London poorer.

“That is cutting its nose to spite its face. Why? Because we are the only region in the country that has contributed more post-pandemic than before.”

The mayor also said he wanted to see a Labour government “working with us in our growth plan”, later claiming he would like to see control over careers services and training for 16 to 18-year-olds devolved to city hall.

The incumbent Labour Mayor has pledged to create more than 150,000 high-quality jobs by 2028 if he is re-elected.

Mr Khan’s London Growth Plan will focus on growing sectors such as artificial intelligence, financial tech, climate tech and life sciences.

Labour said it aims to offer opportunities to young Londoners, particularly those from lower-income households and will be developed in collaboration with councils, businesses and trade unions.