Sadiq Khan: Tories ‘moving the goalposts’ with mayoral voting system change

Currently, London’s mayor is elected through a more proportional system where voters pick a first and second preference choice.

Mr Khan, who won this year’s election with more than one million first preference votes and 400,000 second preference votes, said that the Government is using “the oldest trick in the book” to “make it easier for them to win mayoral elections”.

He said: “If you can’t win a game you move the goalposts, and that’s what the Government has done, they’ve moved the goalposts. They think a new voting system will make it easier for them to win mayoral elections. If the Government wants to beat Andy Burnham or Steve Rotheram or myself, don’t change the voting system, put up a decent candidate with decent policies and inspire people to vote for your party.”

The change has also been criticised by the Green Party, whose candidate Sian Berry came third in this year’s election securing a record number of votes for the party.

Green Party democracy spokesperson Zack Polanski, who also sits as a member of the London Assembly, said that changing the voting system is a “backwards step for our democracy”.

He said: “The current system is one of the few times in British politics when voters have a genuine choice to vote for any preferred candidate rather than being forced between the big two parties.

“This would be a real backward step for our democracy when we should be reforming our House of Commons and providing more necessary options in our politics – not less.”

Chloe Smith, the Minister for the Constitution, announced on Wednesday that the changes would be included in an amendment to the proposed Elections Bill.


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