The candidates for Mayor of London pitched themselves to the property industry this week as they traded blows on key election issues at the annual LandAid debate.
Although the hopefuls had their say on overseas investors, planning battles and Brexit, Tory candidate Zac Goldsmith set the tone for the evening in his opening gambit, saying that “the question in this election is not whether we need to solve the housing crisis, it’s who will solve the housing crisis.”
Labour’s Sadiq Khan, the Liberal Democrats’ Caroline Pidgeon and Darren Johnson from the Green Party each offered their own solutions at the event in Westminster Central Hall, but most in the industry are yet to nail their colours to the mast.
Alistair Elliott, group chairman, Knight Frank: “They agreed on one thing, and that is 50,000 homes a year is the absolute minimum: they probably disagreed on just about everything else. I think it was neck and neck in the end between Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith.”
Liz Peace, chairman, Land Aid: Ultimately it comes down to this contest between Zac and Sadiq. I have to say, on most things I found them relatively close, but I still felt at the end of the day I didn’t have the silver bullet: how is one of them actually, really going to deal with the housing crisis in London?”
Alex Jeffrey, chief executive, M&G Real Estate: “It was a very spirited debate, all the candidates spoke very well and it’s great to hear that housing is regarded as one of the main issues of this mayoral election.”
Mark Ridley, chief executive UK and Europe, Savills: “In terms of really looking at the problems and challenges facing London, and the issue of supply, there was a lot of similar thought; the difference probably being how you fund it.”
- Watch the full debate and hear more reactions in the video above.