Insiders say Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was formerly London Mayor himself, is moving to “erode the power” of Sadiq Khan. Fears are growing after Mr Khan announced he was planing to leave City Hall in central London to save money in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
Dave Hill, OnLondon editor, said: “You’re seeing evidence of them reining in and eroding the power of the mayor.
“It’s a centralising agenda driven by a belief by Johnson and people around him that they can run London better than the elected mayor could.”
Those close to Mr Khan said Mr Johnson and his Tories want to “beat up London to help their standing in the rest of the country”.
Sadiq Khan allies fear Boris is trying to erode the London Mayor’s power
Insiders say Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was formerly London Mayor himself, is moving to “erode the power” of Sadiq Khan
A senior Labour source told The Guardian: “They are taking funding away from London and restricting the power of the mayoralty at every possible opportunity.”
Professor Tony Travers, a local government expert at the London School of Economics, warned Mr Khhan could see his responsibilities “downgraded.”
He said: “People who formerly did something always think the people who came after them aren’t doing it as well as they did. It’s a natural human response.
Boris Johnson previously served as London Mayor
“I’m not saying that the Mayor of London will be abolished – on balance, I think it won’t be. But could it be downgraded?”
But Tory MP Gareth Bacon, hit back and strongly refuted the claims, telling The Guardian: “There’s nothing I’ve picked up at all that suggests that they want to abolish the mayor of London.
“The government has other things to be doing right now.”
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It comes as London Assembly member Tory Shaun Bailey eyes Mr Khan’s job.
He recently took aim at Mr Khan over his inability to deal with pressing issues in London.
In a video posted to his Twitter page, the Conservative politician argued the people of London needed fewer politicians making excuses and deserved those that get results.
He also noted statistics showing a concerning trend in London regarding knife crime, burglary and homicides.
Mr Bailey said: “London’s problems run even deeper than the coronavirus.
“Crime is out of control, since 2016 knife crime is up 60 percent.