For some hours yesterday it was believed that London Mayor Sadiq Khan had set a new world record by reneging, after only a week in office, on his manifesto promise to deliver 50,000 new homes per year.
He told the BBC that meeting his housing target would be challenging because previous mayor, roly-poly latinophone Lothario Boris Johnson, had “left the cupboard bare”. Mr Khan seemed unable to explain exactly what “the cupboard is bare” meant, or why he should be in the least surprised that Boris would ever leave a cupboard anything other than bare, given the size of him.
For three hours on Monday evening, then, it seemed that Mr Khan had performed the fastest ever defenestration of a mayoral election promise. Until the Mercury looked at the record of our borough’s own mayor, Cllr Miles Toob, who threw out the key platform of his 2014 election win an impressive 6.2 nanoseconds after his appointment was confirmed.
That election pledge, to “provide sustainable, affordable housing for hard-working Dalston families, and to put at the centre of this mayoralty a respect for the built environment and the historic fabric of Dalston”, was subsequently altered to: “well, the thing is, yeah?, sometimes the best way to protect these priceless old buildings is to knock ’em down and build something else; something shinier, y’know, something a bit sexier and more, like, now. Y’get me?”
Asked at the time how many affordable homes would be built in the borough Mayor Toob said, “Oh, y’know… heaps. Like, loads prob’ly,” before going off to have his photo taken with Emma Thompson or someone like that.
In other mayoral news: Apparently Sadiq Khan’s dad was a bus driver.
Why were we not told?