At my core, I am an entrepreneur. London is the greatest city on earth, and we need to do all we can to promote London as both an economic powerhouse, and as the best place in the world to start and grow a business.
Although we are world-leaders in Tech, finance, culture, music and fashion, we cannot be complacent about our position. Crucially, we must address with some force the productivity problems caused by chronic housing shortages.
We must also move squarely behind micro-entrepreneurship and Tech Hubs, so that the innovators of the future have the opportunity to grow and succeed, and larger companies are forced to up their game and not rest on their laurels.
London should be as open to investment as possible, and this means not straddling our city with punitive and counterproductive taxes. Taxes should be paid, but they should also be competitive.
It also means turning a page on the ‘bashing of the bankers’ narrative. We should be proud of the City of London and of our wider family of financial services including a thriving insurance industry.
On top of this, we must be strategic and ambitious about preparing young people for the world of work, whether through apprenticeships, more world class higher education, and high-quality apprenticeships and college-based vocational courses that lead to real careers.
We need to:
Champion the cause of institutions like studio schools and University Technical Colleges in London, and support high-quality apprenticeships, which do so much to prepare young people for the world of work. If future governments cannot be persuaded to give London proper oversight and influence over its own education policy, then I will still appoint an education commissioner to champion London’s interests to the Department for Education and relevant funding and standards agencies.
Back small developers, tech start-ups and micro-entrepreneurs, which all contribute to the buccaneering spirit that makes London so energetic, innovative and ever-evolving.
Seek to make London open to the most talented people that the world has to offer in every industry. While immigration must be kept under control, we must not allow ourselves to be shut off from the amazing contribution that so many immigrants make to London’s economy and culture. We also have to be mindful of the £8bn revenue generated for the education system from international students. For this reason, I will lobby the Government to have students taken out of the immigration figures, because international study is one of London’s most valuable exports.