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Mayor's Question Time highlights: Terror threats, EU migrants and controversy surrounding night Czar Amy Lame

In the penultimate Mayor's Question Time for 2016, the London Assembly grill Sadiq Khan on his progress in City Hall

How well is London prepared for terrorism? City Hall question the Mayor at Mayor's Question Time

Sadiq Khan faced the London Assembly members as they grilled him on key issues on London, including the new Night Czar and the London Living Wage.

Members put their questions to the Mayor in a three hour session which saw all parties scrutinize the most recent issues faced by City Hall.

Today's agenda (Wednesday 16) involved the controversy surrounding the appointment of London's new Night Czar, the new living wage, terrorism, the proposed London only visa and the British Transport Police.

Previously, the three hour meeting pushed the Mayor on Heathrow Airport expansion and housing , both of which were echoed at his first ever People's Question Time in Brent .

Find the highlights from the Mayor's Question Time below and join in the debate with #MQT on Twitter.

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That's all from us here at City Hall today

That’s all the questions asked to our Mayor of London this Wednesday. Keep an eye out for the key statements which came out of today’s Mayor’s Question Time on getwestlondon - until next time.

Question: AM Navin Shah asks about discrimination in the Metropolitan Police Force

Mr Shah asks: “Is it true that BAME, LGBT or female employees of the Met Police are mostly likely to be victimised if they raise complaints of discrimination within the force?”

Mr Khan says in response: “MOPAC will work with the Met and the Home Office to tackle these issues” and adds the findings of a report investigating the issue did show some challenging results.

“Sometimes if you’re in the minority, you don’t have any friends or mentors to support you, so we’re looking at what we can do to progress those officers.”

Question: How will your plan a 'City for All Londoners' ensure that Outer London Boroughs are not left behind?

Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow Navin Shah asks with particular interest in his borough, which is less central, how the outer boroughs are not left behind in the Mayor’s plans for a City for All Londoners?

Members say investment often overlooks the outer boroughs, to which Mr Khan says: “The good news, the Government has a Minister for London and he’s from Croydon, he gets it.

“We get it, and we’re determined to address that where we can.”




Question: How prepared is London for terrorism?

Mr Khan says “Whilst we have one of the best counter terror forces in the world, I want to make sure we do the best we can.”

According to the Mayor, the Harris report has shown there are lots of positive improvements, but also says that more government support is needed.

AM Steve O’Connell asked when a full response is expected, but Mr Khan says with 127 recommendations, many don’t fall under the Mayor’s remit.

He says: “It’s important to work as a team.”

The news is particularly troubling after an incident which led to an alleged bomb plot been foiled on the Jubilee Line, which quickly led to extra police stationed at London stations.




Question: What steps are you taking to improve the condition of homes in London's private rented sector?

An issue which particularly affects west London boroughs such as Brent, AM Caroline Pidgeon once again raises the issue of rogue landlords.

Mr Khan says: “Too many households endure poor standards from landlords who let their tenants down.

“I don’t believe that voluntary measures will not tackle the problem alone.”

AM Pidgeon says would there be a legal toolkit for boroughs to take action against rogue landlords as their powers are very little?

He replies: “I’m happy to help, if there’s things I can do to help, I will do.”

He also adds he would like a network across London of a licensing scheme to help everyone live in better accommodation.

Watch what the Mayor says about his plans for private landlords’ crackdown



Question: How are you seeking to convince the Government to extend your powers to include the British Transport Police in London?

Mr Khan says he speaks to British Transport Police and has a “good relationship” with them - and thinks its right that he considers the report which has suggested the BTP should merge and become under the London Mayor before he responds.

He says: “I don’t think it’s right that I publicly say whether I think the merger is a good idea...and will weigh up the pros and cons.”

Question: What progress is being made with your plans for a London Visa, post Brexit?

A London only visa for migrant workers is being pushed by businesses after a report by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry put forward the proposals.

Mr Khan says: “Access to skills and talent has always been critical and so understandably is key for businesses.”

“I’m pressing the government for a devolution deal.”

The Mayor has raised his concerns about the future of London businesses following the Brexit decision

AM Andrew Dismore however, says the government has ruled out a separation for London and how can the city fill these jobs?

Mr Khan says: “They need to understand if we do bad, the country suffers.”

“They government have already says its inconceivable that the EU migrants who live here could be forced to move out”

Premier League Football Clubs will have to keep an eye out for this


Question: Will the Mayor push London's Premier League Football Clubs to pay staff new London living wage?

Labour AM Jennette Arnold asks if the Mayor was willing to support her pushing for people who work in the Premier League Football Clubs to receive the London Living Wage, when they are some of the richest clubs in the world?

Mr Khan says: “I would respectively suggest that if you can afford to pay a footballer hundreds and thousands of pounds, that you can afford to pay people who serve food to fans and clear the stadiums the London Living Wage.”

She urges if Everton can do it, Arsenal, Tottenham, Crystal Palace and West Ham should be able to do it.

Chelsea have been listed as one of few clubs which pay their employees the living wage(Image: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Mr Khan says he has even campaigned by Jeremy Corbyn outside Highbury for this in the past, and is ashamed as a football fan that they aren’t paying people enough - and says he is happy to write to them and make this point.

London’s new living wage is £9.75 an hour, which the Mayor says he hopes to increase to £10 whilst he is in City Hall.

First Question: How did you decide Amy Lamé was best suited to be London's first Night Czar?

Assembly Member (AM) Gareth Bacon asks the Mayor how he selected the new Night Czar Amy Lame, after she beat 187 applicants to the job.

He replies: “It’s really important to have someone who can win the trust of the industry....Amy is that person.”

Having worked in the industry for 20 years, Mr Khan says she understands the wide range of challenges the city faces and was an excellent appointment after being chosen from a narrowed down list of nine people who came before a panel.

However, Mr Bacon read out tweets by Amy Lame, including various insults to David Cameron involving swear words. Mr Khan says he doesn’t condone these comments, but “she has got the job because of her ability to carry out the job”.

London's new Night Czar Amy Lame

Mr Bacon said: “Will she be able to build good relationships with Conservative boroughs given her offensive tweets?”, to which the Mayor says she will be able to do so.

Mr Bacon, who is Leader of the Conservative party, continues to question whether it is acceptable for someone to write “Tory scum” on Twitter and get the job.

Earlier this week, a controversy began amidst growing concerns surrounding the appointment of Amy Lame, as pointed out by the Evening Standard.





What do we know about Amy Lame?

  • Amy Lamé, originally from New Jersey, arrived in London in 1992.
  • Her first job was in a late night café-bar on the edge of Soho.
  • She is co-founder of the Olivier Award winning arts company and club night Duckie, and has hosted the club every Saturday at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern for 21 years.
  • She served as Mayoress of Camden in 2010-2011, and spent her year highlighting the history and culture of live music and nightlife in the borough.


Mayor announces he WILL back a legal challenge for Heathrow Airport

Mr Khan has announced to the Assembly he will be backing any joint legal challenges against the expansion of the Heathrow Airport, assisting boroughs such as Hillingdon and Richmond.

Good Morning from City Hall, where a silence marks those who lost their lives in Croydon

Good Morning getwestlondon readers, we’ll be bringing you the latest from here at the penultimate Mayor’s Question Time.

The meeting began with a short silence held to remember those who lost their lives in the Croydon tram crash.

After the tram derailed, the Mayor spoke to media about the horrific incident, which rocked the city.

At City Hall today, Mr Khan, who announces the investigations continue, says: “I’d like to pay tribute to everyone for the support they’ve shown over the last week, it has made a difference.”

A special webpage has been set up online for donations, as well as a centre specifically for those who have been affected by the rail accident.

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