I am delighted to announce that Stephen Greenhalgh has launched a bid to become the next Mayor of London. As I wrote in August he would be an excellent choice.

He pledges to make the capital less expensive for working Londoners on low and middle incomes through:

  • Cuts to bus and tube fares
  • Prioritising more new and existing housing for essential city workers
  • Regeneration of London’s most deprived areas to create jobs and homes

Stephen is Boris Johnson’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime. His mother had been a refugee who was expelled from Czechoslovakia and whose father was the first in his family to go to university. In 2006, Stephen led the Conservatives to a two-term victory in Hammersmith and Fulham, where I am a councillor, taking majority control of the Borough for the first time since 1968.  As Leader of the Council, he reduced Council Tax by over 20 per cent in eight years, with residents’ satisfaction with council services increasing.

Public safety is the foundation for any city’s prosperity and whilst Stephen has been in his current post, victim-based crimes in London have fallen by 19 per cent and the Met Police has managed to save £240 million so far whilst investing more in frontline policing.

He says:

“Increasingly, London is home to either the very rich or the poor. But what about everyone else? Many Londoners on middle incomes have to flee the city to find homes they can afford and then travel back long distances to work on crowded commuter trains. It’s not good enough.

“The majority of our police officers live outside London; London’s NHS struggles to recruit and retain nurses, doctors and paramedics; and our young professionals can’t get a foot on the property ladder.

“The people who keep our city alive can no longer afford to live here. I am determined to change that.”

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson says:

“We need the strongest possible field and I am very pleased that Stephen Greenhalgh has decided to contest the nomination after an outstanding career in London government and in his current role as Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime.”

Sonia Brown MBE, Founder of National Black Women’s Network (NBWN) added:

“Stephen Greenhalgh has shown a tireless commitment to the diversity and inclusion agenda.  He has been an avid and dedicated supporter of the work of the National Black Women’s Network around women in business and their contribution to the success of London’s economy.  He has worked tirelessly around diversity and the talent pipeline which has been demonstrated by his ongoing work to increase representation of BAME officers in the Met Police.”

“Stephen’s impressive track record as an entrepreneur and public servant speaks for itself and I wholeheartedly support his candidacy.  I believe he will make an excellent Mayor upon Boris’s departure.”

The former TfL Board Member Steve Norris says:

“Stephen would bring energy, enthusiasm and commitment as London’s Mayor. His bid to become the Conservative party candidate in 2016 should be taken extremely seriously and I applaud his pledge to bring tube and bus fares down. This is a real issue for Londoners.”

While the founder and Governor of the Fulham Boys School – Sophia Wade said:

“Stephen was instrumental in helping us to open The Fulham Boys School, a new Church of England free school for boys in West London. In fact, without him, I doubt we would have been able to open. He combines a real passion for London with the practical ability to solve problems and get things done.”

Greg Hands, The Conservative MP for Chelsea and Fulham, says:

“I have worked closely with Stephen Greenhalgh in the Conservatives for 16 years. His record as Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council was one of the best in the UK.

“He was a council tax cutter and used his business skills to deliver better public services at the lowest reasonable cost. He would be a formidable Mayor candidate, and an excellent Mayor of London, who will do us all proud.”

So the race is under way. Stephen certainly starts off with enthusiastic support in Hammersmith and Fulham from those of us who know him well. Of course he will have to work harder to get established in the other 31 London boroughs. Labour have stolen a march having several contenders to have declared. I hope there will be a vigorous albeit good natured contest for the Conservative nomination. Far from being a distraction in the run up to the General Election it should provide greater campaigning dynamism among London Conservatives and provide an opportunity to showcase our ideas in the media. If Stephen’s bold decision to enter the race prompts some others to declare that is all to the good.


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