London Labour News May/June 1999 (a Labour Party publication)
by Nick Raynsford MP
Minister for London
A mayor with more power over transport than the mayor of New York, with real powers to act on air quality, regeneration, crime prevention, job creation and tourism. Is this a pipe dream? No. Under a labour government it will be a reality a year from now with new mayor and assembly starting work in July 2000.
Thirteen years ago the Tories abolished London's city-wide government and plunged our great city into a limboland of red tape and buck-passing where every important big decision was shelved or ducked. 'Tackling this mess with a bold, imaginative new scheme has been one of our new labour government's greatest achievements.
Do not let our political opponents claim any of the credit for this. 'This has been labour's idea from the outset, we were the only party to work hard to deliver the decisive YES vote from every London borough last May, and it has been the government which has put the London Bill through Parliament as the centrepiece of the Queen's Speech. Since then, a group of dedicated London MPs have worked hard on the committee stage of the bill while Lib Dems and 'Tories have postured with publicity stunts and unworkable amendments.
Within the Labour Party, we have already started the process to select our candidates for the London Assembly; a vital body which needs the brightest and best to ensure the mayor is held to account and to represent the people's interests in bodies such as the Metropolitan Police Authority. When we have our mayoral candidate selected, we have a long campaign ahead to sell labour's policies and a labour mayor for London.
Last updated 7/6/99;
20/03/00 - some minor typing errors.