London mayoral election 2024: Who are the candidates taking on Sadiq Khan?

Sadiq Khan is campaigning on his environmental and house-building achievements  (James Manning/PA)
Sadiq Khan is campaigning on his environmental and house-building achievements (James Manning/PA)

Candidates are already gearing up to take on incumbent Sadiq Khan in the upcoming London Mayoral elections on May 2, 2024.

Rob Blackie, a prominent campaigner against Russian propaganda, was recently confirmed as the Liberal Democrats’ London mayoral candidate, the last of the UK’s major parties’ candidates to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, the Tories have selected Susan Hall as their candidate to take on Mr Khan and the Green Party has announced Zoë Garbett will be its candidate for the Mayor of London next year.

Mr Khan and his Tory rival Ms Hall are said to be running almost neck and neck for City Hall, according to one recent opinion poll by JL Partners, which put Hall just three points behind Khan.

The current mayor, who is seeking a record third term of office, received 35 per cent in the opinion poll compared to Hall’s 32 per cent.

Elsewhere, new YouGov findings exclusively shared with the Evening Standard also suggested that Khan may have an uphill battle. Findings suggested that the London Mayor had a rating of minus 24 in the capital’s populous suburban boroughs. However, Mr Khan was significantly more popular in inner-London boroughs, with YouGov adding that his Ms Hall remains an “unknown figure” to most Londoners.

In 2021, Labour and Khan won the delayed vote from the Conservative Party with the Greens in third. The Lib Dems failed to gain more than five per cent of the vote, losing the £10,000 deposit required to run.

Here are the candidates being put forward by all the major parties.

Labour Party

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (Jordan Pettitt / PA Wire)
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (Jordan Pettitt / PA Wire)

Sadiq Khan has said he wants to “send a message” to the Tories in seeking to become the first politician to hold the Mayor of London office for three terms.

The incumbent has pointed to his environmental and council house-building policies as achievements of his tenure. He will be looking to build on Labour’s strong lead in the national opinion metrics.

“[This is] an opportunity for Londoners to send a message to the Tories, not only for crashing the economy but for their anti-London approach,” Mr Khan said.

There have been signals, however, that some view Khan’s role in expanding the Ulez unfavourably and it’s unclear how that will impact next year’s election. Dr Onkar Sahota, an ally of Sadiq Khan and a member of the London assembly is said to have recently lost the backing of a number of his party’s local activists due to his support of the Ulez.

Conservative Party

Tory candidate Susan Hall (Stefan RousseauPA Wire)
Tory candidate Susan Hall (Stefan RousseauPA Wire)

Susan Hall is a London Assembly member and former council leader. She won with 57 per cent of the votes cast to 43 per cent for Mr Hossain. The precise number of votes cast was not disclosed.

If she defeats Mr Khan next May, Ms Hall will become the first woman to be mayor of London. She would also be the first Tory candidate to win since Boris Johnson in 2012.

Ms Hall, who vowed to “do whatever it takes to win”, recently suggested that crime and policing would be high on her agenda should she become mayor. During a phone-in on LBC Radio, Hall implied that she didn’t feel safe walking home alone at night anymore.

She said: “You ask most women - if you are walking along at night and you can hear somebody behind you, you think: ‘Who is that?’ I have spoken to men and they don’t feel that.

However, Ms Hall has also faced criticism on an LBC call and was forced to defend herself for liking posts from far-right activist Katie Hopkins and liking a post that praised Enoch Powell.

The Conservative Party’s race had previously been thrown into the spotlight when Daniel Korski stepped down from the party’s shortlist after TV producer Daisy Goodwin accused him of groping her 10 years ago.

The Conservative candidate recently made headlines for liking a tweet praising Enoch Powell and describing Mr Khan as a “traitor rat”. The tweet liked bore the message: “It’s never too late to get London back!”

Additionally, it was discovered that Ms Hall liked a tweet referring to Mr Khan as “our nipple-height mayor of Londonistan” on X.

According to a spokesperson for the Hall campaign, she interacts with plenty of users on Twitter without endorsing their viewpoints.

Ms Hall’s representative said: “Londoners want a mayor who listens to people and deals with the bread-and-butter issues that matter to them – making our streets safer and putting more money back in people’s pockets. As mayor, Susan will deliver that.”

Liberal Democrats

Rob Blackie is an anti-Brexit campaigner and adviser to startup technology companies who ran under the slogan ‘Bolder with Blackie’.

Speaking on the day he was revealed as the Liberal Democrats’ mayoral candidate, Mr Blackie said under Mr Khan’s watch, the Metropolitan Police had lost sight of action on rape and serious crime in favour of prioritising “trivial” offences such as possession of cannabis or laughing gas.

He said: “Sadiq Khan has failed to tackle rape 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.”

Green Party

Hackney councillor Zoe Garbett stood in 2021 and will again lead the Green Party in this election.

She tweeted in February: “I’m overjoyed to have been chosen to be @TheGreenParty candidate for London Mayor. Huge thank you to @LonGreenParty for your support & can’t wait to start the campaign.”

Reform UK

In May 2023, Reform UK (formerly the Brexit Party) nominated Howard Cox - the founder of the Fair Fuel UK campaign - as their candidate for mayor.

If nominated, Cox vowed to scrap the entire ULEZ and reduce fuel duty as well as low-traffic neighbourhoods.

When is the London mayoral election?

The election will be held on Thursday, May 2, 2024, simultaneously with elections to the London Assembly and local elections.

Mayoral elections are traditionally held every four years. However, voters last went to the polls in 2021 rather than 2020 as the election was postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It will be the first time the election uses the first-past-the-post system. Previously, it relied on the supplementary vote system.