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Mayoral candidate George Galloway: ‘I say what I mean and mean what I say’

PUBLISHED: 14:05 22 April 2016 | UPDATED: 16:31 22 April 2016

Picture: Ellie Hoskins

Picture: Ellie Hoskins

Archant

He wants to scrap Transport for London (TfL), says he supports building “some” houses on green belt land and dismisses his rivals as “robots”, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg for mayoral candidate George Galloway.

After a series of administration mishaps made setting up a meeting with the former MP impossible, Mr Galloway spoke to the Recorder over the phone about his vision to unite all London citizens.

He said: “Leadership is the main thing. London needs a leader and not a reader.”

The Respect party leader, who is vying to become London’s next mayor in the May elections, doesn’t believe any other candidates can achieve what he plans.

He believes he has more experience after being elected to the Commons six times, originally as a Labour candidate and then as leader of the Respect party.

“I want to build a London for all, not just those dripping in gold,” he said.

“From my experience, people in outer boroughs feel distant from London. I want to change that. I want to help them.”

If he is elected on May 5, he would make all “orbital bus journeys” in zones 5 and 6 free.

He would scrap TfL as it is “not fit for purpose” and replace it with a new travel authority.

School, college and university students would travel for free, which he says would “improve the lives” of countless young people in the borough.

Fellow mayoral candidates Sadiq Khan (Labour) and Zac Goldsmith (Conservative) both pledged to fight plans to build on the Oakfield Playing Fields, Fencepiece Road, Barkingside, but Mr Galloway admitted he had not heard about the issue.

He said: “I haven’t heard about that particular estate, I’m not going to lie about it.

“But I do support some building on green belt land.

“London is in a housing crisis and we need to give the two million people in the private sector a chance.

“We need to build on brownfield sites, NHS and land owned by TfL and the Ministry of Defence.

“This is the biggest issue concerning Londoners currently.

“I want to build thousands more council homes and 50 per cent of new homes should be affordable.”

A recent poll put Mr Galloway at roughly 1pc support, but the outspoken candidate still has strong words for his rivals.

He said: “They are robots – Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

“I say what I mean and mean what I say.

“Both of the previous mayors have been big leaders, which is what London needs.”


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