Liberal Democrats name Rob Blackie as London mayoral candidate

With the Liberal Democrats finishing fourth in the past three London mayoral elections, ITV London's Mahatir Pasha asks the party why they are still competing in the 2024 race

The Liberal Democrats have chosen Rob Blackie, a businessman whose company advises start-up tech companies, as their candidate for next year's London mayoral race.

Mr Blackie, who grew up in Pimlico and now lives near Brixton, worked as a director of research for former leader Charles Kennedy and has long been a London Assembly candidate for the party.

The Lib Dem campaign is expected to focus on tackling crime and the need to clean up London's rivers, as well as ensuring that the capital remains a welcome place for European citizens.

Mr Blackie described himself on Friday as a much-needed "liberal challenger" to incumbent Sadiq Khan and accused the Tories of having effectively given up on London.

He said: "Khan has failed to tackle rape, sexual offences 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.

Mr Blackie has criticised Mayor Sadiq Khan for his failure to tackle sexual offences in the capital. Credit: X/@LondonLibDems

"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."

Mr Blackie, who the party described as a "life-long Lib Dem", has also founded a digital campaign to get independent news about the war in Ukraine into Russia.

Lib Dem London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon said that Mr Blackie and the party would offer a "progressive alternative" to Londoners.

She said: "Rob is a true Londoner who will fight for all communities across London. Sadiq Khan has taken his eye off the ball when it comes to keeping Londoners safe.

"The Met Police is in special measures and in London last year there were over 37,000 burglaries reported and yet for one in three, the police didn't even bother to turn up to investigate."

The Conservatives last month chose London Assembly member Susan Hall to represent the party in the 2024 election.

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