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Architects' choice Sadiq Khan elected London mayor

Hellman Sadiq London mayor

Labour’s Sadiq Khan has been elected as the new mayor of London - as predicted by AJ readers

Last month 53 per cent of architects, students and developers polled online chose Khan to succeed Boris Johnson ahead of Conservative Zac Goldsmith, Green Party candidate Sian Berry and Lib Dem Caroline Pidgeon.

However Khan’s victory was much closer than the AJ poll, with the ‘bus driver’s son’ taking 44 per cent of the first round votes compared to Goldsmith’s 35 per cent. Berry came third with 6 per cent.

After the second round of votes were taken into consideration, Khan secured 56.8 per cent of the voting total comapred with Goldsmith’s 43.2 per cent.

Ben Derbyshire, chairman of HTA Design, applauded Khan’s win, describing Goldsmith as ‘politically immature’. He told the AJ: ’Quite apart from his hateful and baseless accusations of terrorist affiliations, [Goldsmith’s] hopeless housing policy would have further fuelled the sense of entitlement that those who are well housed somehow use to deprive the same opportunity for those who are not.’ 

Results of the AJ poll (from April)

AJ reader survey: Who will you vote for?

AJ reader survey: Who will you vote for?

The majority of men and women who completed the survey said they would vote for Sadiq Khan the Labour candidate in this years mayoral election, followed by Zac Goldsmith for the Conservatives

  Sadiq Khan - his pledges


Party: Labour

Current role: MP for Tooting


  • 50,000 homes a year, offered to Londoners first
  • Half of all new homes should be ‘truly affordable’
  • A ‘Homes for Londoners’ team established in City Hall
  • A ‘Homes for Londoners’ living rent offered at one-third of average local wages
  • ‘Use it or lose it’ powers to force developers with planning permission to build homes
  • Restrict use of ‘poor doors’ on new developments so access to affordable and market value homes is indistinguishable
  • Develop design principles for town centres
  • Cut funding from ‘inefficient and flabby’ Transport for London


Ben Derbyshire chairman of HTA Design
’Thank goodness London has been spared the divisive instincts of the politically immature Zac Goldsmith. Quite apart from his hateful and baseless accusations of terrorist affiliations, his hopeless housing policy would have further fuelled the sense of entitlement that those who are well housed somehow use to deprive the same opportunity for those who are not.

’Now we must turn to support and embolden Sadiq Khan. To my mind his campaign and his manifesto lacked the energy he will need to achieve the goal we must all seek: building Greater London! His policies on housing won’t be enough to deliver the supply side improvements we need to tackle the affordability crisis in the capital. He must broaden the scope of initiatives in housing, work on maintaining quality as well as increasing numbers and above all act boldly and fast if we are avoid driving our entrepreneurial lifeblood and precious mixed communities away.’

Laurie Chetwood of Chetwoods
’We met Sadiq Khan’s director of policy Nick Bowes before the election and it was clear that, if elected, putting right London’s environmental problems -particularly improving London’s air quality - would be an important part of their administration. I think it is important that a mayor should stand for something and the environmental platform could be his.

’Architecturally, mayors also need to think beyond “asset sweating” and tourism and really engage with what a city means to everyone living there.’

Owen Hatherley, critic and AJ contributor
’Sadiq Khan ran a campaign which ignored how New Labour housing policy - ie, let developers and landlords run riot but fund trickles of social housing through section 106 agreements - has failed.

’His resounding victory will have been driven by anger at London’s profound housing crisis’

’But his resounding victory across the capital will have been driven by anger at London’s profound housing crisis and hopefully that will push him to push for building council housing as robust and elegant as the Henry Prince Estate in Earlsfield, where he grew up.’

Ben Adams, founding director of Ben Adams Architects
‘The new mayor will find ways to support the many in London who are struggling with the cost of housing, transport and living in the city. I hope that Sadiq Khan also finds ways to encourage the architectural community to keep designing great buildings and for local authorities to support them.

’Developers might be nervous about what is to be expected of them, given the hostility directed at luxury housing in recent months, but an honest and open debate about how best to tax development gain for the public good can do no harm.’

Peter Murray, chairman of New London Architecture
’We look forward to working with Sadiq and his team as they develop the next version of the London Plan with the aim of making London a more equitable city with a focus on delivering more homes and a higher percentage of affordable.

’As a part of this work the Mayor needs to set out a clearer vision of what sort of city he wants. Better ways of consulting the wider community are needed for such an important project and NLA is keen to play a role in promoting the widest possible debate about the future shape of London. Better consultation was recommended by the Mayor’s Design Advisory Group (MDAG) who also proposed teams of ‘flying planners’; the fact that this idea was adopted by Zac should not put Sadiq off the idea.

‘We need more innovative solutions to the delivery of housing, particularly in the area of high quality manufacture, with a positive campaign to convince an often sceptical public of it benefits.’

’I hope that Sadiq will continue the excellent work of Boris Johnson and Andrew Gilligan in delivering high quality cycling infrastructure in central London and will roll out the mini-Holland programme to all London boroughs.

’Lastly, I hope he seeks, and follows, the highest quality architectural advice.’

Patrick Flaherty, chief executive of AECOM 
’Khan arrives at City Hall to face the challenge of improving London’s competitiveness to maintain its position as a leading global city. Housing, infrastructure and the ability to compete effectively for foreign direct investment all require his urgent attention.

’Failure to address London’s escalating housing crisis will eliminate the capital’s ability to compete with major global cities. London needs a proactive strategy for growth that integrates house-building with infrastructure development and employment opportunities. Increased volume and a wider choice of dwelling types and tenures is key to stimulating economic prosperity, retaining a skilled workforce and maintaining London’s status as a leading global city.

’Tackling the housing crisis will require the mayor to wield influence across a much wider region’

’Addressing the housing crisis will require the new mayor to wield influence across a much wider region than the traditional boundaries of Greater London. To achieve meaningful change, he must collaborate with and influence local authorities surrounding the capital to share in economic growth and be prepared to look beyond their own local housing needs.’


Readers' comments (3)

  • Let's hope he can clean out the TfL cupboard.

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  • Sadiq has merely articulated what everyone wants. A clean city with housing for all, affordable transport and apple pie. He won't accomplish it with 50% affordable housing development and freezing ticket prices. And we will probably get a 3rd runway at Heathrow to please the unions. Let's hope he gets some good advice now he's in power, and good luck.

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  • Chris Roche

    There is a major conflict within the new mayor's manifesto pledges to build more affordable homes and to protect the green belt. His position would be more credible had he promised to review present Green Belt policies.

    Chris Roche Founder 11.04 Architects

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