The race is still open. While Sadiq Khan, the Labour candidate for London Mayoral elections still leads in the polls, his Conservative opponent, Zac Goldsmith is gaining new momentum. New supports come in every day and the Back Zac bus crisscrosses  London boroughs. The election deadline is nearing (5th May 2016) and Zac could win by a short head.

A few days ago, Ealing and Hillingdon Conservative Associations presented an evening with Boris Johnson (Mayor of London and MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip), Zac Goldsmith (MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston and Conservative Mayoral candidate), and Dominic Gilham (Councilor and GLA candidate for Ealing and Hillingdon) at Radisson Blue Edwardian – Heathrow in Middlesex. was the only French media to attend the fundraising event and to interview Boris Johnson and Zac Goldsmith. Boris, you are currently the mayor of one of the most attractive cities in the world. You have made Londoners life easier and healthier. Could you explain why Londoners should back Zac?

Boris Johnson: I am delighted to be here to support Zac Goldsmith and Dominic Gilham at tonight’s fundraise. Hillington residents Boris and Zacknow the importance of having a Conservative Mayor who treats the outer boroughs fairly, in terms of funding, programs and priority. Zac understands the importance of outer boroughs to the economic success of London.

Look at London today: we have now got a city that is naturally the number one in the world and by all relevant metrics London last year attracted more tourists than any other cities on earth: 18.8 million! Not Paris, not NY, and that’s what happened with the Conservatives.

And it’s going to continue if Zac gets in, and if Dominique gets in. Zac has an optimistic forward looking plan to improve our transport infrastructure, protect our green spaces and quality of life, and help more young people to get onto the housing ladder locally.

As MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, I know that Hillingdon needs a mayor who is principled. Zac is the right man to protect London and Londoners, and he will be a great mayor. Zac, I was wondering why you do not focus your campaign on Sadiq Khan’ strong relationships with radical Islamism whereas we all know that Sadiq Khan has actually stood up for radical Islamists many times and that he could not be trusted on security issues. We also know that this candidate has been and still claims to be a « friend » of a terrorist (Babar Ahmad) [1] who has been in jail in the US and in the UK.

So my question is why don’t you focus more on the fact that Sadiq Khan could really be a problem for Londoners when it come to coping with those who represent a threat (Abu Haleema, Anjem Choudary) for London and which could result in growing mistrust against the Police. As a Londoner, I would like to know why you do not highlight this problem?

Zac Goldsmith: You are asking why we are not making more on these links. Well, it is a very difficult issue, in truth it is a really difficult issue. London is one of the most diverse cities on earth. It is really important that a campaign for a position such as mayor is as inclusive as it can possibly be.

The worst thing we could possibly do, you are French, is copy the Paris mWedding photographerodel. With respect, Paris is a beautiful city, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but it is a divided city, tensions in Paris are frightening and we have not got to that point in London. I think it is important that our politics are as inclusive as they can possibly be.

But that is not to say that the point you have raised is not valid. It is valid, and I don’t think anyone is suggesting that Sadiq Khan holds jihad views. I do not think anyone is saying that, yes there are such comments on Twitter, but no serious commentators have raised this issue.

What commentators are saying is that he has given a platform and oxygen over and over again to people who do hold these views and for me that does raise questions of judgment. This is a man who wants to be the mayor of London, who wants to effectively in charge of the Police and I think for that he is illegitimate for people, myself included.

I have questions about his judgments and my view is that his association and his willingness to experiment with people who hold appalling views makes him unfitted to hold that office.

Edouard d’Espalungue


[1] « Report on two visits by Sadiq Khan MP to Babar Ahmad at HM prison Woodhill » Report of investigation by the Rt Hon Sir Christopher Rose, Chief Surveillance Commissioner.

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4 réponses à “A night with the Conservatives” Subscribe

  1. Joba 22 avril 2016 at 14 h 06 min #

    A good interview where Mr Borris and Zac didn’t back off when asked the difficult questions. Thank you for sharing it

  2. Matt 26 avril 2016 at 16 h 39 min #

    It is perfectly reasonable to highlight concerns regarding any politicians possible links to terrorism if such links are suspected. This frequently happens in relation to members of Sinn Fein and in such cases I have not heard the retort « racist » or « Irelandophobia »

    Are some people in this country exempt from criticism?

  3. Doug 30 avril 2016 at 22 h 38 min #

    Clear interview with relevant questions. Thanks for your input

  4. Alex 18 mai 2016 at 0 h 17 min #

    It is interesting to see that how discreetly a Conservative candidate forms statements about unpleasant relations of the Labour candidate meanwhile hinting at that it could be more counterproductive to constantly mention his origin and heritage than focusing on other issues. They knew it well that it was not recommended to build a campaign on this detail..not in London for sure.

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