Sadiq Khan hits back at Tory MP's call for 'independence' from City Hall

Sadiq Khan has hit back at suggestions from a Tory MP that his “traditional” London borough should be given “more independence” from City Hall.

Romford MP Andrew Rosindell said in Prime Minister’s Questions this week the mayor’s reign since 2016 had been “catastrophic”, but Mr Khan said he was governing as a “mayor for all Londoners”.

Mr Rosindell told the House of Commons on Wednesday: “The Prime Minister should be aware that the people of Romford are appalled by the catastrophic reign of the current Mayor of London.

“Does he agree that traditional boroughs like Havering should have more independence from City Hall? But in the meantime, to save London, shouldn’t we sack Sadiq, and elect [Conservative candidate] Susan Hall as the next mayor of our capital?”

PM Rishi Sunak paid tribute to Mr Rosindell “for his championing of his area and his passion to preserve its character”.

He added: “Whilst there are no current plans to redraw the boundaries [between Greater London and Essex], I can understand his desire, especially with London being run by the Labour mayor.

“With nightlife decimated, crime increasing and the mayor raising taxes on hard-working people by over 8 per cent, London can certainly do better. The only way for pride to be restored in London is with Susan Hall as its new mayor.”

Responding to the remarks, Mr Khan told the Standard: “I think we’d all like to think we come from traditional boroughs, I’m not sure why his is any more traditional than others - but I’m a mayor for all Londoners.

“[That] means that outer London boroughs get things like the Superloop [express bus network], the get the benefits of the Elizabeth line, they get the benefits of the Barking Riverside [Overground] extension, they get the benefits of a million kilometres of additional buses in outer London, the benefits of some of the jobs we’re creating going to those who work in outer London.

“I’m going to carry on being a mayor for central, inner and outer London.”

Mr Rosindell has long argued that as Romford is an “historical Essex market town”, it should not be part of Greater London.

The borough of Havering, which contains Romford, was originally part of Essex, but became part of Greater London in 1965. Like every other London borough, it voted in favour of having a London mayor and London Assembly in the 1998 referendum on the issue.

Havering voted 60.5 per cent in favour, with Greater London voting overall in favour by 72 per cent.

The London mayoral election is on May 2, along with elections to the London Assembly.