Passing the Buck: Sadiq Khan Blames London Crime Wave on Weather, Cost of Living Crisis

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan during a visit to Tottenham Hale Village, north London, where h
Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images

Rather than taking responsibility himself, London mayor Sadiq Khan has tried to blame the crime wave ravaging the British capital on the cost of living crisis, after previously blaming the weather.

Over the past week, London streets have been bloodied by a string of violent attacks including six homicides, one of which saw an 87-year-old man stabbed to death while riding his mobility scooter.

Speaking on Friday, the Labour Party’s Sadiq Khan said: “Before the summer holidays began, the police, myself and others were warning about what we’ve seen in previous summers – we have seen an increase in violent crime and the cost of living crisis exacerbates this,” he said.

“Why? Because one of the complex causes of crime is deprivation, poverty, lack of opportunities, and so forth.

“That’s made worse by the cost of living crisis, and I’m afraid it’s no consolation to me, the police or all those bereaved families to see happening this summer what we feared, which is what we’ve seen in the last week.”

The day prior, Khan, who is also London’s police and crime commissioner, pointed to the hot summer weather as a contributor to the crime wave, claiming that “longer daylight hours, school holidays, a heatwave and so forth” can drive up crime.

So far this year some 59 people have been killed in London, six in the past week alone.

Even including the two years of harsh lockdown restrictions, every year that Sadiq Khan has been in office London has seen over one hundred killings.

Though he was re-elected for a second term as Mayor of London last year, polling has suggested that his popularity has waned, with a plurality of Londoners (48 per cent) disapproving of the job he is doing, according to a YouGov poll in January.

The poll also found that 60 per cent of Londoners believe Khan was handling crime “badly”.

It is not only the public that has lost confidence in Khan to tackle crime, with the Metropolitan Police Federation openly declaring in February that the organisation, which represents over 31,000 Met officers, has “no faith” in his leadership on policing.

There has even been reported discussions at the ministerial level to potentially strip the policing powers from the mayor’s office over his consistent failure to bring crime down.

Lambasting the Labour politician, Education Secretary James Cleverly said this week: “I cannot express how angry I am about the situation in regard to violent crime in London. It looks like the current Mayor has been asleep at the wheel.”

Brexit leader Nigel Farage said: “If the mayor of London thinks a murder wave can be put down to
bad weather, well I’m really sorry Khan, get a grip, work with the police. Let’s get tough, otherwise, London is not going to be a safe city for anybody.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.