LONDON, England – The first Conservative Party hustings for London’s mayoral election took place today, with none of the ‘favourite’ candidates in attendance, and surprisingly, very little in the way of ‘conservative’ politics mentioned.
There was no mention of immigration, terrorism and security, and little talk of lowering taxation throughout the entire hour-long event. Two candidates claimed they supported banning strikes on the London Underground, and all present were in agreement that “sexual and domestic violence” was one of the greatest threats facing London and that a new runway at Heathrow was a bad idea.
The three candidates who did attend the Conservative Way Forward event were Andrew Boff, leader of the Conservative Group on the London Assembly; Stephen Greenhalgh, a businessman and Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime; and Simon Fawthrop, a Conservative Councillor from Bromley.
Frontrunners Zac Goldsmith, Syed Kamall, and celebrity option Sol Campbell all avoided the event, with one source telling Breitbart London that Campbell didn’t feel he was ready. This follows a “car crash” interview he gave LBC on Wednesday. Mr Kamall apparently could not attend because of Ramadan.
There were jeers from the crowd when one audience member pointed out that all the candidates were men, who all went on to speak for an inexplicable amount of time about domestic violence: “Stephen [Greenhalgh] and I speak about little else than how to response to sexual and domestic violence,” said Boff.
There was huge support for Boff when he said he would lobby to have “strikes… banned on the Underground” which should be “illegal,” he said. Fawthrop was in agreement and said he would also push to have driverless tubes. Greenhalgh, however, said his approach would be to lower tube fares and “to not pick fights.” He added, however, “if you do pick fights, then do as Thatcher did, and make sure you win them.”
Boff railed against growing layers of bureaucracy in the capital and said that Boris Johnson was “letting things slip” in this area, apparently in regard to the fact that councillors’ salaries are rising, while decisions are more or less taken at a different level of government.
All candidates present said they were staunchly against a third runway at Heathrow, and the High Speed Rail 2 project. There were cheers from the audience in support of these sentiments.
Although there were no questions asked about taxation, Greenhalgh did say, emphatically, that he was pro-competition and enterprise. “London needs to grow,” he said, “we either grow, or we lose.”
Disappointing as some of the pitches were, Fawthrop summed up why truly right-wing people should care about the elections in London, an increasingly Labour city; “We are conservatives, so anything we put forward will be better that Labour,” he said.