What would happen if Susan Hall actually wins? Tory candidate for London mayor’s key policies

Susan Hall’s campaign for London mayor has been fraught with controversy

Andy Gregory
Friday 03 May 2024 19:49 BST
Conservative London Mayor candidate Susan Hall casts vote in local election

Labour’s Sadiq Khan takes on Tory rival Susan Hall to win a third term as London mayor, with poll results prior to the actual vote unanimously suggesting he’d win comfortably.

But, nevertheless, as London waits for the count to begin on Saturday, several journalists at outlets including GB News and the Byline Times have reported anxieties within the Labour camp and, somewhat incredibly, confidence in Conservative Camp Headquartrs that the result will be tight enough for a historic upset.

While polls had tightened in the run-up to the vote, with Savanta putting Ms Hall 10 points behind Mr Khan’s 42 per cent, the incumbent Labour mayor himself fuelled such nerves when he warned – two hours prior to polls closing – that “low numbers of people voting” meant the “real risk” of Tory victory.

Susan Hall’s campaign for London mayor has been fraught with controversy
Susan Hall’s campaign for London mayor has been fraught with controversy (Getty Images)

Despite Mr Khan having faced anger over his Ulez policies and accusations of failing to do enough to tackle knife crime, Ms Hall has never appeared close to posing a serious threat – with Deltapoll director Joe Twyman noting that a Tory victory “would represent a polling error far in excess of anything in the history of our industry”.

But as rumours swirl on the eve of the count, The Independent has taken a further look at Ms Hall’s policies and campaign.

When did Susan Hall become the Tory candidate?

The 69-year-old had served as a councillor since 2006, with a stint as Harrow Council leader before replacing now-business secretary Kemi Badenoch in the London Assembly in 2017. She went on to become London Conservatives leader in 2019, during which period she endorsed Donald Trump in the 2020 US election and likened Capital rioters to Brexit Remainers.

She was selected as the party’s mayoral candidate in July 2023, after the party’s first pick, Daniel Korski, was forced to drop out amid groping allegations. CCHQ launched an internal review of its London operation following her selection, insisting it had done so with Ms Hall’s “full support”.

Why has she proven controversial?

As throughout much of her time in office, Ms Hall’s campaign has been fraught with controversy – and The Independent revealed this week that senior Tories had wanted Reform’s candidate to run in her place.

Prior to her selection as mayoral candidate, remarks by Ms Hall which had drawn criticism included backing claims of an “invasion” of refugees and calling TV star Gemma Collins a “stupid fat blonde woman”.

After her selection, Ms Hall was swiftly reported to have “liked” tweets praising Enoch Powell and describing Sadiq Khan as a “traitor rat”.

The following month, Tory minister Nusrat Ghani and the Board of Deputies of British Jews were among those to criticise her claims that Mr Khan’s “divisive attitude” was a cause of fear among some Jewish Londoners.

Weeks later, she claimed “crime was out of control” after her purse was pickpocketed on the London Underground. A member of the public later revealed they had returned it to her complete with cards and cash after finding it lying on a seat.

Susan Hall speaking to protesters during an anti-Ulez protest in Trafalgar Square
Susan Hall speaking to protesters during an anti-Ulez protest in Trafalgar Square (Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

Just days before this week’s vote, it was reported that Ms Hall had joined an anti-Ulez Facebook group the day after an exposé revealed that it contained Islamophobic hate speech and abusive comments about Mr Khan.

Former Tory cabinet minister Sayeeda Warsi has since accused Ms Hall of “gutter politics”, while Labour’s shadow health secretary Wes Streeting said a win for her would be one for “racists, white supremacists and Islamophobes the world over”.

What are Ms Hall’s policies?

Ms Hall has vowed to scrap the Ulez expansion from her first day in office, and pledged to end a “war on motorists” by reviewing 20mph speed limits on main roads and low-traffic neighbourhoods, while extending Night Tube services, and reinstating travel discounts for over-60s during peak morning hours.

The Tories have also committed to recruit 1,500 more police officers, and to set up two new police bases in every London borough, while taking action to crack down on knife crime, theft and women’s safety issues.

Ms Hall has also claimed she would build more affordable homes by prioritising high-density, low-rise developments and prevent the construction of new tower blocks except where “appropriate”.

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