Respect has unveiled the Left List – a broad range of candidates who will be running for the London Assembly and mayoral elections on Thursday 1 May.
“It’s very important that there is a left alternative for Londoners to vote for,” said Lindsey German, mayoral candidate and head of the London Assembly list, as she launched the Left List at a press conference on Monday of this week.
The Left List is standing in the mayoral race, in London constituencies and in the top-up list for the London Assembly – the body that oversees the mayor’s office.
“If we win 5 percent – and we came very close to that in the 2004 election – then we will win a seat on the assembly,” Lindsey said.
“Inequality in London is growing. Meanwhile the government is spending £3 billion this year on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan when we face the worst housing crisis since the Second World War.
“We were told that the expansion of finance jobs in the City would benefit us, that the wealth will trickle down. But this is not happening – and we are now facing a severe economic crisis.
“The collapse of the US bank Bear Stearns threatens the jobs of 2,000 people here. We do not as yet know how many more jobs are under threat with the contraction of the financial sector.
“People cannot afford to buy homes in London. At the same time there is severe overcrowding. This market is also likely to fall, with all sorts of consequences – repossesions and problems with meeting mortgage payments.
“We are standing because we think it is important to have an alternative voice that says the working people in London, who produce the wealth of the city, should get some of the benefit of the wealth and shouldn’t have to pay for the crisis.
“We need an emergency programme of council housing building and an end to sell-offs of existing council housing. All housing should be affordable.
“Londoners suffer from one of the most expensive public transport systems in the world.
“We have called for a reduction of fairs to no more than £1 on buses and tubes – and a massive expansion of public transport.
“We campaign for an end to all forms of discrimination, and our candidates represent the diversity of London.”
Voters will have two votes in the mayoral race. Their second preference votes will be crucial in the second stage of the election.
Lindsey called on voters to put her as first preference, then transfer their second preference vote to Ken Livingstone, the current London mayor.
This is to ensure that the Boris Johnson, the right wing Tory candidate, is not elected as mayor.
“Boris Johnson stands against all the things that are good about our city,” said Lindsey.