In Depth

London Mayor election 2016: Zac Goldsmith's Tory manifesto

From building homes to cleaning up the capital, a concise round-up of the politician's main policies

London Mayor election day has finally arrived, with Zac Goldsmith still lagging behind his Labour rival in the latest opinion polls.

But commentators argue the Conservative candidate shouldn't be written off just yet and could still beat Sadiq Khan.

The polls putting Labour on course for a landslide victory could be proved wrong – just like they were after last year's general election, says The New Statesman.

Here are some of the Richmond Park MP's key manifesto pledges:

Housing:

Like his Labour rival, Goldsmith has put dealing with the capital's acute housing crisis at the top of his agenda and has also promised to give Londoners the first chance to buy new homes. "There are too many young adults still living in their childhood bedrooms trapped by London's escalating house prices," says Goldsmith. In addition, he wants to double the number of homes built a year to 50,000 by 2020 and ensure that a "significant proportion" are only available to rent.

Transport

Bringing suburban rail services under City Hall's control in a bid to increase and improve the service is one the Tory candidate's transport pledges. "I will make sure you get to work on time and back in time to kiss your kids goodnight," he says. Goldsmith also wants to move ahead with Transport for London's long-overdue Night Tube, Crossrail 2 and railway expansion.

He has repeatedly taken aim at Khan's key policy to freeze transport fares, arguing it has not been accurately costed. "I would love to make that offer [but] I can't make that pledge; that isn't an honest pledge to make," he told the Huffington Post this week.

Business

Supporting small businesses and start-ups is one of Goldsmith's key economic priorities. "I will continue to push for a business-friendly environment for start-ups and will do everything in my power to cut the red tape that makes setting up a business all too difficult," he says. He has also pledged to improve broadband coverage across the city so it become the "fourth utility".

Environment:

As the former editor of Ecologist Magazine and a respected campaigner, Goldsmith has some of the strongest green credentials in the mayoral race. He has been at the forefront of the argument against expanding Heathrow, saying that "too many lives" are cut short by air pollution. Protecting the green belt from development, introducing tougher rules on HGVs and tackling food waste will also be towards the top of his list.

Police and security

Goldsmith promises to protect police budgets and deploy more officers on public transport at night. He has also pledged that people suffering mental illnesses will be treated and not jailed. "Far too often vulnerable people are caught up in the justice system rather than having [these] issues addressed," he says.

Equality

Goldsmith has vowed to "foster a greater sense of community cohesion" by ensuring that City Hall and its associated bodies do not give money or platforms to events or groups that discriminate on the basis of religion, race, sexual orientation or gender. As well as that, he has pledged to crackdown on hate crimes, female genital mutilation and forced marriages, along with providing further support for women's refuges.

But despite his promises to improve community relations, Goldsmith has been accused of running a racially and religiously divisive campaign against Khan. As well as describing his Muslim rival as "radical", he also distributed leaflets to London's Asian communities that have been described as "stereotypical and patronising" by both Labour and Tory councillors.

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