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London First launches Business Mayoral Manifesto – Running London is No Joke

Running London is no joke – that’s the message from influential business group, London First, which is taking to the streets around City Hall today dressed as court jesters and posing as the four main candidates in the 2012 Mayoral elections.

Much like the traditional role of the jester (to speak with common sense and honesty to those in power), London First will set six common sense priorities for London’s mayoral candidates to keep London as a world-leading city, and call on them to include them in their manifestos.

The six priorities are to:

  • Keep us connected – Increase London’s airport capacity in the medium to long term, and persuade Government of the urgent need for more international flights from Heathrow by allowing more flexible use of runways, balanced with reduced noise.
  • Welcome the talented – Lobby against migration policies based purely on numbers and for students here temporarily not to be counted as permanent migrants.
  • Make life less taxing – Make the case to the Treasury for growth-stimulating changes to personal taxation, including raising the personal allowance, to boost consumer spending, and ending the temporary 50% top rate tax, to encourage business leaders to base themselves here and create jobs.
  • Be the ambassador for London – Promote London overseas and ensure that the opportunity provided by the Olympics is fully exploited. Also, to reverse recent cuts to promotional budgets and maintain this level of funding.
  • Get things moving – Keep the Tube upgrade and Crossrail on track and on budget and take bold steps to tackle road congestion.
  • Get things built – Drive regeneration and create jobs by supporting plans for homes, offices and infrastructure.

London First’s Chief Executive, Baroness Jo Valentine, said:
“Running London is serious business. On many issues, the Mayor’s chief role is as the lobby for London, and we expect the incoming Mayor to support measures that not only bring jobs and prosperity, but ensure that London is, and is seen to be, truly open for business.

“A number of the priorities we have highlighted today are also within the Mayor’s direct control, and we will be looking for a commitment to achieving these aims in the next four years.”

London First’s full and shortened manifesto can be downloaded here:

Full manifesto

Short manifesto

Download photo of London First Business Manifesto Jester Launch

Ends

For more information contact Emma Apter 020 7665 1427 / 07535 977004

London First is a business membership organisation with a mission to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First undertakes this by mobilising the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure.

London First delivers its activities with the support of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes further education colleges and all of London’s universities. London First members represent over a quarter of London’s GDP.

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