London mayor elections 2024: Liberal Democrats name Rob Blackie as candidate to take on Sadiq Khan
Rob Blackie, an anti-Brexit campaigner and adviser to startup technology companies beat Chris French, a former Met special constable in a vote with London Lib Dem members.
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The Liberal Democrats have named Rob Blackie as their candidate to take on Sadiq Khan at next year’s mayoral election.
Mr Blackie, an anti-Brexit campaigner and adviser to startup technology companies, beat Chris French, a former Met special constable in a vote with London Lib Dem members.
Mr Blackie’s CV includes work as an environmental economist for the ministry of environment and tourism in Namibia, and founding the Breaking Putin’s Censorship campaign, which, according to his website, “helps Russians to find independent news about the war in Ukraine using digital advertising”.
Blackie, who lives in Brixton’s campaign will focus on tackling crime, keeping London welcoming for European citizens and others who are “threatened by Home Office incompetence”, and cleaning up London’s rivers.
The 50-year-old has been a life-long Lib Dem who served as Charles Kennedy's Director of Research during the Iraq War. Since then he has been the London Assembly candidate for Lambeth and Southwark in 2012 and a Londonwide list candidate in 2016 and 2021.
“It is an absolute honour to have been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for London Mayor. London needs a liberal challenger to the Mayor - who has been a disappointment to many Londoners,” said Mr Blackie.
“Khan has failed to tackle rape, sexual offences and other serious crimes over the last seven years and Labour are committed to the worst possible priorities for the police - arresting people for laughing gas rather than spending time on serious crimes.
“The Conservatives are discredited nationally by their cost of living failures and in London they’ve all but given up.
“For far too long people in London have been let down by Labour and the Conservative plan for London shows that they are not serious about tackling our city’s problems.”
Liberal Democrats London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon, said: “Sadiq Khan has taken his eye off the ball when it comes to keeping Londoners safe. The Met Police is in special measures and in London last year there were over 37,000 burglaries reported and yet for one in three, the police didn’t even bother to turn up to investigate.
“The Conservatives have given up on London and are out of touch with a liberal London.
“Rob and the Liberal Democrats will offer the progressive alternative to Labour’s shortcomings whether that is on crime, the environment or London’s economy.”
Next year’s mayoral election will be the first time the election uses the first-past-the-post system. Previously it relied on the supplementary vote system.
Mr Khan is preparing to fight for a third term as mayor of London next year, having secured his position as Labour’s candidate.
After the Conservative Party’s dramatic contest, in which hopeful Daniel Korski stepped down following groping allegations, which he denies, Susan Hall was unveiled as its candidate.
The Greens have chosen Hackney councillor Zoë Garbett, while Reform UK - previously known as the Brexit Party - have chosen Howard Cox, founder of the Fair Fuel UK campaign.
The election will be held on May 2, 2024.