London mayor wants more autonomy, "right now"

London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Tuesday demanded greater autonomy for the city, "right now."

Source: B92
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(Getty Images, file)
(Getty Images, file)

This comes days after Britain voted in a referendum to leave the European Union.

A majority of London's residents, however, voted "remain" with a petition launched in the wake of the referendum to declare London "independent."

Kahn said in a statement that he on Tuesday addressed "top business leaders" to state in his keynote:

"As much as I might like the idea of a London city state, I'm not seriously talking about independence today. I am not planning to install border points on the M25! But on behalf of all Londoners, I am demanding more autonomy for the capital - right now."

According to him, more autonomy would "protect London's economy from the uncertainty ahead, to protect the businesses from around the world who trade here and to protect our jobs, wealth and prosperity."

Kahn said he was "not asking for London to get a bigger slice of the British pie - only for Londoners to get more control over the slice of the pie we already get.”

According to the statement, he then "reassured people in the rest of the UK that they will benefit from more devolution for London because when London succeeds, the rest of the country succeeds too. And when we fail, the entire nation fails.”

Kahn also "urged the government to move fast on devolution" as “we can't hang around for the outcome of the negotiations before we give Londoners more control”.

The statement added that his address was "backed by business and government leaders from across London."

According to media reports, London could ask to set its own taxes and have more influence on the local economy, urban planning, transport, healthcare, security, and justice.

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