On May 5th the people of London will decide who they want to be the next Mayor of this great city. Whilst there are many candidates, ultimately it’ll come down to either Labour’s Sadiq Khan or Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative candidate.
The British Indian community in London is 600,000 strong; enough to decide who will be given the keys to City Hall. This is not an election in which we should be sitting on our hands; it is our moral duty to vote for who we think is the best candidate to represent our city – our home - to the world.
I’m supporting Zac Goldsmith because I believe he’s the best candidate. His action plan sets out the priorities I think London needs to see implemented; more houses being built – especially for young people; investment in transport, more police and protection of the greenbelt.
But I’m also backing Zac because I’ve been appalled by the way Sadiq Khan has reacted to the questions over his judgement during the campaign.
Sadiq has shared a stage with – amongst others - a hate-preacher who called for Jews to be drowned in the ocean, an extremist who would go on to train the ringleader of the 7/7 attacks, and a convicted terrorist who mourned the death of Bin Laden.
These are the sort of unsavoury characters most of us look to avoid or hope are imprisoned; but when challenged to explain these links, Khan’s only response is to cry islamophobia. I don’t care about Khan’s religion; but I care very deeply about his judgement.
When I came to Britain I faced prejudice; people weren’t used to Indians and it took a while for that prejudice to disappear, but disappear it almost entirely has. But for some, we’ll always be victims of our skin colour or our religion.
I am appalled when I see a young British Indian complain of prejudice when it doesn’t exist. And I’m equally appalled by Sadiq Khan playing the ‘Islamophobia’ card rather than answering the question of why he felt it was acceptable to share a stage with these characters.
He’s running to be the Mayor of the greatest city in the world. A City that’s as diverse as it is brilliant; a city where a young British Indian can receive a good education at school, attend a world-class university, and reach the highest levels of their chosen profession.
London needs a Mayor who will unite our city against the very real threats we face - not a Mayor who takes to the stage with extremists to advance his political career.
I’m backing Zac Goldsmith on May 5th because I believe he’s the candidate who is best for our city; and who will continue the spirit of Boris’s Mayoralty; independent and principled but able to work with the Government to deliver what’s best for London.
But I’m also backing Zac because Sadiq Khan’s campaign tactics have taken us back to a place I hoped we’d moved on from, a time when race and religion were defining characteristics rather than our talent and skills.
I hope London will reject Sadiq’s time warp back to the socialist seventies, and I urge you to vote with me for Zac Goldsmith on May 5th.