Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to the newest version of your browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of Construction News, please enable cookies in your browser.

Welcome to the Construction News site. As we have relaunched, you will have to sign in once now and agree for us to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

CN Briefing: Sadiq Khan, London mayor; Goldsmith's campaign; Khan's pledges

Fresh into his post as London mayor – mere hours after being sworn in, in fact – Sadiq Khan had already penned a rather controversial article for the Observer.

He attacked David Cameron and Zac Goldsmith for using “fear and innuendo” during the election campaign (something he said was “straight out of the Donald Trump playbook”).

These bold words might give us an insight into how Mr Khan plans to govern over the next four years.

Mr Goldsmith’s divisive campaign has been trashed by many, including his own sister. Even the prime minister got involved, accusing Mr Khan of sharing a platform with an Islamic “extremist”.

Mr Khan’s decision to highlight the nature of the opposition campaign in his first public statement after assuming office could be read as antagonistic.

So it will be interesting to see whether this has a damaging effect on his relationship with government.

London first director of strategy and policy John Dickie down played the impact it will have on their working relationship.

“Politicians understand the difference between the rough and tumble of election campaigns and the rough and tumble of actually governing and delivering,” he told me.

The Conservative government has set itself a very taxing target of building 200,000 homes a year, with London responsible for a large proportion. If both the mayor and the government are genuine in their desire, then it’s in everyone’s interest to get along.

However, it’ll be worth keeping an eye on whether Mr Khan continues to use the Tories’ controversial campaign to his advantage in the coming months, and how the government reacts if he does.

In the Observer, he also took the opportunity to take a swipe at his own party’s leadership.

“Labour has to be a big tent that appeals to everyone – not just its activists. Campaigns that deliberately turn their back on particular groups are doomed to fail,” he wrote.

Could this be the first attempt to position himself as a leadership candidate once his term ends in 2020?

As Mr Dickie points out, if Mr Khan does have wider aspirations beyond London, the way to make them real is to deliver on his pledges.

But if a hostile relationship persists between City Hall and Westminster, will he be allowed to make good on those promises?

In other news

The UK has ranked the highest in Europe for infrastructure investment but third worst for regulatory risk, according to Deloitte’s 2016 Infrastructure Investment Survey.

Deputy editor Tom Fitzpatrick has the latest on the blacklisting legal battle.

Check out our latest analysis on the hotel sector: what do contractors need to know to win work in this £1.5bn growth market?

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.