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City Matters 117

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DEATH OF ENGLAND Even the most devout Remainers will find themselves empathising with a Leaver at the National Theatre’s latest one man show starring Rafe Spall Page 10 BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE The chef table has to be one of the best kinds of dining experiences out there, allowing guests to watch & interact with the cooks as they work their magic Page 12 19 Feb - 03 Mar 2020 The City’s SOCIAL ENTERPRISE newspaper with 35,000 READERS Edition 117 Khan and Bailey’s hustings no-show Calls for candidates to be given ‘empty chair treatment’ in future if they don’t turn up to pre-election discussions CANDIDATES pitched their policies and sparred on stage ahead of the London mayoral election, writes Jessie Mathewson, Local Democracy Reporter. London will elect a new mayor on 7 May and the Local Democracy Service was at the hustings to catch every clap, heckle, and boo. Here are three big takeaways from the evening, which was hosted by the London School of Economics (LSE) and the London Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Sadiq Khan and Shaun Bailey didn’t show up The most notable feature of these hustings was the absence of the two candidates leading the polls. The latest survey by YouGov and Queen Mary University – now a little out of date from November – gave current Mayor Sadiq Khan a comfortable lead on 45%, with Conservative Shaun Bailey on 23%. New entrant Rory Stewart snapped up 13% of the vote, with Liberal Democrat Siobhan Benita on 8% and THE COUNTDOWN IS ON: London will elect a new mayor on 7 May. Green Sian Berry on 7%. But neither Mr Khan nor Mr Bailey were at the event. They were represented instead by Clare Coghill, leader of Waltham Forest Council for Labour, and Stephen Greenhalgh, former Deputy Mayor for Policing under Boris Johnson for the Conservatives. There was palpable frustration from the other candidates. Ms Benita said she didn’t “believe” that the Mayor was too busy to attend, and claimed Mr Bailey had dropped out because Mr Khan wasn’t on the stage. She said candidates should be given empty chair treatment in future if they didn’t turn up. “The reason I went into politics was because I think our two main parties are increasingly dysfunctional,” she said. “If they can’t be bothered to turn up to this event then I don’t think anyone should vote for them.” Ms Coghill said the Mayor was “very sorry” he couldn’t attend and hoped she’d be an “adequate substitute in the circumstances” – but she later admitted that as a local government leader she didn’t have expertise on all the topics discussed. For his part, Mr Greenhalgh said he “didn’t have a briefing” on some aspects of Shaun Bailey’s policy – leading Mr Stewart to claim stand-ins shouldn’t be allowed to speak if they don’t have the facts. Violent crime remains top of the agenda London had more homicides in 2019 Turn to Page 3 New immersive theatre show P11 Guide to London short courses P14 Explore Greece’s Epirus Coast P18

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