In a speech at the London Government Dinner, Sadiq Khan has asked the capital’s political and business leaders to work with him to develop a new industrial strategy for London.
He said that this would be designed to improve the city’s competitiveness. He also called on the government to give London more control over the economic levers required to secure future growth.
Sadiq Khan said that London will write its own industrial strategy, to feed into the government’s UK-wide industrial strategy white paper, which is expected to be published later this year. He said that “any industrial strategy that doesn’t work for London will by definition not work for Britain”.
The Mayor said that securing economic growth for the capital will require London government being given more control over economic levers in the city, adding “a key part of making London more competitive over the years ahead will be ensuring our city government has the levers we need to stimulate our economy”.
He called for London government to be given more powers to improve skills provision in the city, to speed up the delivery of new infrastructure and to reduce the housing crisis.
John Dickie, Director of Strategy and Policy at business group, London First, said: “If we make the right decisions now, staying open to skilled and talented people and investing in the homes, transport and digital infrastructure we need, London will continue to grow.
“With the government, the Mayor and business working together, we can create a more productive London – increasing growth by just one per cent generates an extra £150 billion by 2036* – meaning more jobs, greater prosperity and stronger public services for the UK as a whole.”
The City of London Corporation’s Policy Chairman Mark Boleat said: “With the Brexit negotiations approaching, the world’s attention is focussing on London.
“For the 450,000 employees and nearly 18,000 firms based in the City alone, as well as the 750,000 financial and professional service employees in London, there’s a lot at stake.
“Other major European cities are vying to lure businesses and talent away from our city, and are doing so with a well-structured approach.
“What we must realise, though is that the UK’s financial services sector is deeply entrenched within Europe. London is a financial centre for the whole of Europe and institutions based in the City have entrenched links with corporates in the EU27.
“In order to leave the European Union with the least amount of disruption to financial services businesses and more importantly their customers, it is vital that there should be a transition period.
“Devolution will also play an important role in supporting the wider economy as Britain faces its most significant challenge in recent years and so we support the London Mayor’s strategy for power to be devolved from central Government to London.
“Whatever the outcome, I have no doubt that the London and the City will remain the world’s leading financial centre.”
Cllr Claire Kober, Chair of London Councils and leader of Haringey Council, said: “The capital’s businesses both large and small are fundamental to success of our boroughs. But companies are facing huge pressures caused by the fallout of the vote to leave the EU, and almost a quarter of vacancies in London are now due to a lack of applicants with the right skills. If we are to protect our economy post-Brexit it is essential that Whitehall devolves power to London government, so we can implement a strategy that works for all Londoners – equipping businesses with the tools they need and workers with the skills to succeed in the jobs market.”