Businesswoman and candidate for London Mayor Farah London has announced she will offer free travel across the capital for her first 100 days in office if elected.
Her pledge, which would apply on all forms of transport within London, is to give a boost to the city’s economy once national travel restrictions are lifted.
Since 20 December, Londoners have been told to stay at home except for limited reasons, dealing a hammer blow to businesses and hospitality in the capital.
London said: “It’s about getting people back into London, getting people back travelling, getting people comfortable again so we can get back after all of this Covid that we have gone through.
“We need to start helping people, putting money in their pockets and saving as much as they can.
“You know a lot of people have stopped travelling because they just can’t afford it. So if we can get the footfalls back into our city, you’re going to see businesses start to thrive.
“People can’t afford to come in so let’s get them there. Let’s bring them back, help them help the businesses. We all need to help each other to grow back the economy.
“This will obviously be done with government guidelines and the vaccine rollout.
“It’s all part of the plan for when it’s safe, when the vaccine is being rolled out and we have systems in place for mass testing.”
London launched her independent bid for Mayor of London last October, her main aim being to “bring London back” while distancing herself from traditional party politics.
The Croydon-born businesswoman criticised incumbent mayor Sadiq Khan for not working more closely with the Government, after he declared a major incident in the capital earlier this month.
She said: “This is the problem when you have a mayor who is a politician for a political party and you have a government which is from a different political party. They don’t get on, they don’t like each other and they actively work against each other.
“So that’s why as an independent mayor I would take responsibility for the people of London and then go to the Government and work with them and work out solid ways to actually improve their lives and make things safe and lobby the things that we need to do.
“Khan hasn’t done any of that because all he will do is the blame game and say there is nothing wrong.”
With the country in lockdown and campaigning limited by Covid rules London, who lives alone with her two dogs, continues to help homeless charities in addition to being one of 250,000 NHS volunteer responders.
Her father is one of the three million vulnerable people who received letters from the Government when it launched the scheme in March of last year.
But she expressed concern that these people could be being put at risk by responders who are also attending to those who have developed coronavirus symptoms, having come into contact with them when they exchange cash for shopping.
She said: “I was quite concerned two weeks ago because I received a call to help someone and to my shock she asked for paracetamol and lots of fresh ginger.
“Then I thought that this list looks like she has got the flu so I did call her back and I said: ‘I have to ask as I have been working with a lot of vulnerable people lately. Do you think you have Covid?’
“She said: ‘Yes I have.’
“This number was initially for vulnerable people who haven’t caught Covid. Can you imagine, if I go to someone who has Covid and then the next call I get is someone vulnerable, there is a risk of transfer?”
She raised the issue with the NHS responders team but did not get a response.
Aside from taking the city out of the pandemic, London has also promised to better represent minority ethnic groups through erecting new statues and establishing a museum to recognise the contribution of the black community.
You can check out London’s campaign here.
Main image credit: Farah London