From Barking to City Hall: Andrew Boff aiming to be selected as Tory mayoral candidate
- Credit: Tom Simpson/Greater London Autho
Former Barking council candidate Andrew Boff has set his sights on City Hall after being shortlisted as one of his party’s three potential mayoral candidates.
Mr Boff lost out on being Longbridge ward’s councillor for the Conservatives in May’s local elections.
Now he’s aiming to run for mayor of London in the 2020 elections and has declared violent crime, housing and a key change to the Hammersmith and City line as his priorities.
“My overall objective is to create a London that is at peace with itself,” he said.
“It’s great to see how Sadiq Khan has created a city where we’re relaxed about diversity, but now Londoners want more than that.”
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The 60-year-old, who lives in Barking Riverside, said he’ll reduce overcrowding, invest in the transport system and accelerate the rate of home-building, but violent crime will be his focus.
“I’ll be treating violent crime like a public health emergency,” he said.
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“We’ve seen a lot of violence take place in Barking and Dagenham and it would benefit from a different regime.
“It will be a multi-agency approach with everyone on board, from the Greater London Authority and Met Police, to social services and educational bodies.”
The London Assembly member will introduce the London Violence Reduction Commission, a monthly meeting which he’ll chair, involving the Met’s police commissioner, education heads and social service representatives.
“If you want to solve problems you have to be active,” he said.
“Mr Khan has been willing to take selfies, but he’s been unwilling to make decisions.
“If you want to solve problems you have to be active – you can do nothing, or you can try to make the world better.”
For Barking and Dagenham, Mr Boff said he won’t be interfering too much in borough politics, believing councils should be left to manage their business locally. There is one change, however, that he’s keen to bring in.
“When I’m mayor, the Hammersmith and City line will be renamed the Hammersmith and Barking line,” he said.
“For years we’ve been putting up with a false description.
“We shouldn’t be embarrassed to give Barking recognition. I want a renaissance of east London, which will allow people to see all it has to offer.”