My speech to Labour Party Conference

My speech to Labour Party Conference


Sadiq Khan MP, Labour’s candidate for Mayor of London, in a speech to Labour Party Annual Conference in Brighton, said:

It’s always great to be in Brighton!

Or as we call it in Tooting, 'London by the sea'.

I remember my first trip here.

My dad was a bus driver and his garage organised day trips for workers and their families.

I remember sitting on the top deck of a red London bus all the way down the A23.

For a kid from a South London council estate Brighton was a real treat.

Ice cream, the pier and fish and chips.

The proper seaside experience.

Back then neither my family nor I would have dreamt that I’d be standing here today as your candidate for Mayor of London.

Conference, I’m deeply humbled by the faith you’ve put in me.

Thank you.

And I want to pay tribute to the 5 great candidates who took part in the selection process.

To Tessa Jowell, Diane Abbott, David Lammy, Christian Wolmar and Gareth Thomas.

We were briefly rivals, but always friends.

I’ve learned a lot from you all and I’ll be looking for your advice and support over the next nine months.

I want to win this election for one reason – to give all Londoners the opportunities that our city gave me.

You know, I owe London everything.

London gave my dad the opportunity to get a decent job as a bus driver.

It gave my parents the opportunity to get a council house, secure and affordable, so they could save a deposit to get a home of their own.

It gave my siblings and me the opportunity to get a great state-school education and a place at university.

Based on our grades rather than ability to pay and a good quality apprenticeship for my brother. 

It allowed me to train as human rights lawyer, to help run a business, to become the Member of Parliament for my local area and to serve in the Cabinet.

London gave my family and me the opportunity to fulfil our potential.

I'm determined to give all Londoners the same opportunities that our city gave me.

By fixing the housing crisis and building more affordable homes to rent and buy.

By tackling our air pollution that is killing 10,000 Londoners every year.

By being the most pro-business Mayor ever, helping create jobs and wealth.

By giving Londoners the skills they need to get the jobs of the future.

By building a modern transport system – but a transport system that Londoners can actually afford to use.

By defending our membership of the European Union – good for London’s workers, good for London’s businesses.

And by ensuring all workers are paid a wage they can survive on – not George Osborne’s phony version but a real living wage.

But there is one thing above all others that I'm determined to do for our city.

And that is to make it more affordable to buy or rent a home of your own.

That’s why I'm going to make the election in May a referendum on London's housing crisis.

You know, when I was growing up every child could aspire to one day own a home of their own.

My parents were able to get a council house that meant they could save a deposit to get a home of their own.

I slept in a bunk bed at my parents’ house until I was 24 so that I could save up to buy my first home with my wife.

We had to make big sacrifices, but it was possible.

Not anymore.

Home ownership is falling every year - with an entire generation in London standing no chance of owning their own home.

Londoners are spending more and more of their wages on rent.

Every year thousands of Londoners are forced out of our city, because they can't afford to put a roof over their heads.

And we have the shameful sight of desperate charities buying bus tickets for the homeless so they can sleep on a night bus.

This crisis has been a long time coming.

Successive governments have failed to build the homes we need.

But let's be clear – it has got so much worse under the Tories in City Hall and in Government.

They've failed to build the homes that Londoners need.

They've let the big developers off the hook when it comes to building affordable homes.

They've let flats be sold off to overseas investors to use as gold bricks instead of to Londoners who need them.

And you know what - they're about to make it even worse.

Next month the Tories will introduce a Housing Bill in Parliament that will make it even more difficult for Londoners to rent or buy a home.

It should be called the “No Home of Your Own” Bill.

It will force Councils to sell off their family homes - with no guarantee that they won't be sold to foreign investors.

And it will sell off housing association homes in London - the last remaining genuinely affordable homes.

This will be a disaster for London.

I’ll be doing everything I can to stop this Bill and I make an offer today to my Tory opponent.

Let’s work together.

Let’s work together and stop the Government making the housing crisis in London even worse.

Let’s work together to defend the capital’s housing.

Show you’ll put London’s interests before your party interest.

I genuinely believe it is possible to fix London's housing crisis.

It’ll take hard work and political leadership but it is possible.

And I have a proper plan to do it.

I’ll set up a new team of housing experts in City Hall called ‘Homes for Londoners’.

They will plan, fund and deliver the new homes Londoners need.

With me as Mayor, we'll stand up to big property developers and insist that half of all new homes are genuinely affordable.

We'll give Londoners first dibs on the new homes that are built.

We'll bring in a London living rent.

And we'll build homes for first time buyers.

We will make Labour the party of homeowners.

But London needs more power over housing.

Too much is run from Whitehall rather than City Hall.

The Government must give London the powers and funding our city deserves.

More powers over housing, skills, jobs, health and crime.

As a candidate, and as your Mayor, I’ll work with the boroughs to get the best deal for Londoners.

So that we truly can have more responsibility over our future.

Conference, we have all been through an exhilarating and exhausting summer of campaigns.

Now we have a responsibility to face outwards and show the same energy and imagination to win elections.

Showing voters we’ve listened to them and learned the right lessons. 

To turn our hundreds of thousands of new members and supporters into a fighting force to win power and transform the country.

That’s what we'll be doing in London.

And winning next May matters to the whole country.

We'll show that under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, we’ve dusted ourselves down and we’re up for the fight.

And I’m up for that fight.

But let’s be clear – it will be tough.

Labour has only won City Hall once.

We have to win the votes of all Londoners.

From disaffected Lib Dems, disgruntled Greens, and yes dissatisfied Tories.

From Westminster to West Wickham, Islington to Isleworth, Camden to Kenton.

Winning by working together.

By building a movement.

Of members, community leaders, faith groups, business people and, yes, trade unionists. 

Our campaign will be funded by the hard earned contributions of working people.

Conference, we should never be afraid to say we are proud of our link with the trade unions.

That's why I need your help. 

United, working together, we can win back City Hall

Together we can show that Labour can make a difference.

So, together, let's get to work and win back London.

Thank you.


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