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London Mayoral Election 2021 – Sadiq Khan vows to SCRAP congestion charge on weekend and evenings and slash daily cost

Welcome to The Sun's Elections 2021 live blog, covering everything from your local council vote to the mayoral elections in cities up and down the country.

With covid dominating the past 12 months, many Brits will be using these elections to have their say on how they feel local officials have performed, as well as trying to send a signal to Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer.

This blog will be your rolling 24/7 guide to all the latest news and updates from this year's local elections so make sure you're bookmarking this page and regularly checking back for the very latest news and updates.

Read our Elections 2021 live blog below for the very latest news…

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    HEALTHCARE IN SCOTLAND

    Nicola Sturgeon said that, if re-elected, the SNP will make sure that half of all spending on frontline NHS care will go to GPs and community services.

    Scottish Labour's proposals include a catch-up plan for cancer screenings as well as having mental health workers in every GP practice in the nation.

    The Scottish Liberal Democrats also pledged to make improvements for mental health services and cutting waiting times.

    The Scottish Conservatives pledged an additional £2bn of additional support for the NHS, while the Scottish Greens said they will allocate 10 per cent of frontline health spending on mental health by 2026.

    Other topics which may be discussed during the April 27 debate include education, housing, employment and environment.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE TO BE DISCUSSED TONIGHT

    Scottish independence is set to be one of the topics of the debate as it has been discussed widely during the election campaign.

    Nicola Sturgeon has called for a second independence referendum, saying: "Scotland’s future must, and will, be decided by the people of Scotland."

    Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross, however, launched his manifesto for the upcoming Holyrood elections with a pledge to "rebuild Scotland" – but block a second vote on independence.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    SCOTTISH GREENS COULD DOUBLE THEIR SEATS

    The survey of 1,037 Scots last week suggests the Greens could almost double their seats from six to 11.

    The poll suggests half of all voters plan to vote SNP in their constituency vote while 35 per cent intend to do so on the regional list ballot paper, which the polling suggests would give them 67 seats.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    SNP ON COURSE FOR MAJORITY IN SCOTLAND

    Nicola Sturgeon's SNP are set for a Holyrood majority, according to the latest opinion poll.

    The new survey suggests the Nats will claim a historic fourth victory, winning 67 seats, which would give them a majority of five.

    Scottish Labour are also predicted to become Scotland's second party, winning 24 seats – the same number as they currently have – with the Scottish Tories coming third with 22 seats, nine fewer than they won in 2016.

    And the opinion poll, carried out by Survation for The Sunday Post, suggests that Alex Salmond is less popular than Boris Johnson with Scottish voters.

    The SNP is set for a majority, according to the latest pollCredit: PA
  • Chiara Fiorillo

    15 MINUTE PLAN

    Kam Balayev's website states he wants to implement a "15 minute plan", which means every Londoner will be just 15 minutes from essential public services.

    He wrote: "Why me? Well, because London needs a different way. A new way of managing our economy that takes advantage of the data that we, as Londoners, generate every year, but so far receive very little in return from.

    "Safer neighbourhoods by tackling organised crime at its source, with a zero-tolerance policy on the knife crime and gang violence that plagues east London’s streets.

    "Comprehensive support for small businesses, who are the lifeblood of our local communities.

    "As your next mayor, my sole focus will be on delivering a better future for you and your family."

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    KAM HE DO IT?

    Kam Balayev is a former lawyer and studied at Cambridge University.

    On his website, the Renew Party candidate said: "Kam was born in Baku in 1981 which is at the historic crossroads of the Ottoman, Persian and Russian empires.

    "These were turbulent times and whilst growing up he witnessed war, economic downturn as well as the boom times that followed the years of independence of Azerbaijan."

    He worked at the Ministry of Justice in Baku as a lawyer.

    Kam has a graduate degree from Cambridge University in Criminal Justice sciences.

    Kam Balayev has a graduate degree from Cambridge University
  • Chiara Fiorillo

    SCOTTISH LEADERS DEBATE

    Scotland's party leaders are set to go head-to-head on Channel 4's live election debate tonight.

    Nicola Sturgeon (SNP), Douglas Ross (Tories), Anas Sarwar (Labour), Willie Rennie (Lib Dems) and Patrick Harvie (Greens) will be quizzed by Krishnan Guru-Murthy.

    Alex Salmond's Alba party has not been invited to take part.

    The debate, held in Glasgow, starts at 7pm and is the first to be broadcast across the UK – just two weeks before Holyrood polls open on May 6.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    WHO IS RUNNING?

    With thousands of candidates running in the May 2021 elections it can be confusing to know who is standing in your area.

    You can go here, to find out about the candidates in your area just by popping in your post code.

    It will tell you if there are elections in your area – including the PCC ones – and it will provide a list of the candidates and the party they represent.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    FIND OUT IF THERE IS AN ELECTION WHERE YOU LIVE

    To find out if there is an election where you live, you can use this tool.

    All you need to do is enter your postcode to find contact details for the electoral services team at your local council.

    You can also find your polling station details.

  • Chiara Fiorillo

    ELECTIONS ON MAY 6

    • Local council elections in England
    • Local and Combined Authority Mayoral elections
    • Mayor of London and London Assembly elections
    • Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales
    • Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliamentary election
    • Scottish Parliamentary election

    GREEN PARTY'S SIAN BERRY STANDING FOR MAYOR FOR THIRD TIME

    The Greens' co-leader will be standing once again as a 2021 mayoral candidate.

    Berry, 45, finished third behind Khan and his rival Zac Goldsmith in 2016.

    And she also stood in 2008, coming fourth.

    Berry intends to focus on the city's housing crisis in her campaign.

    She said the Greens were the “only party Londoners can trust to deliver on their promises” with regard to housing.

    WHO IS CONSERVATIVE CANDIDATE SHAUN BAILEY?

    Tory candidate Shaun Bailey, 48, is the son of a lorry driver, whose grandfather came to Britain from Jamaica as part of the Windrush generation.

    Bailey joined the Army cadets while still a teenager and remained with them for another 10 years.

    In 2006, he co-founded MyGeneration, a charity for young people, which closed in 2012 due to financial problems.

    He attempted to be selected in a number of London constituencies in 2017, including Kensington, Croydon South and Uxbridge South and Ruislip.

    SADIQ KHAN'S MANIFESTO

    • Jobs – "Supporting businesses and banging the drum for investment"
    • Green policies – "Tackling toxic air pollution and the climate emergency"
    • Housing crisis – "Record numbers of council homes and rent controls"
    • Getting tough on crime and its causes – "More police officers and opportunities for young Londoners"
    • Rejecting government cuts – "To TfL, the Met Police and local councils"

    CURRENT MAYOR

    Sadiq Khan became Mayor of London on May 9, 2016, picking up 57 per cent of the vote in the election.

    As mayor he introduced the hopper fare for unlimited bus and tram journeys for an hour.

    He also increased the area and cost of the congestion zone.

    Khan also brought in new charges (the ULEZ and the T-Charge) for older and more polluting vehicles driving in the city.

    He has also been a strong supporter of remaining in the European Union.

    BIN IT TO WIN IT

    Count Binface, who was previously known as Lord Buckethead, is running for Mayor of London this year.

    The unlikely candidate went up against Boris Johnson in 2019 and Theresa May in 2017.

    He has a Go Fund Me page where he has raised £5,342 so far.

    He said: "My name is Count Binface, intergalactic space warrior and democracy-lover.

    "Now I'm running to be the next mayor of the Earth Capital, London."

    • John Hall

      PRICE IS RIGHT

      The price of the London congestion charge will also be reduced from £15 to £11.50, Sadiq Khan said.

      But critics said abandoning the £15 levy, which raised an extra £113m in 2020/21 for Transport for London to reinvest in public transport, ran counter to his vow to avoid a “car-led recovery”.

    • Chiara Fiorillo

      PROXY VOTE EXPLAINED

      Brits have the option to "vote by proxy" – meaning getting someone to vote on your behalf.

      You can only vote by proxy if this applies to you:

      • You're away on election day
      • You have a medical issue or disability that would stop you voting in person
      • You have work or military commitments that would stop you voting in person

      The deadline to apply for a proxy vote is today.

      Completed forms have to be sent to your local Electoral Registration Office.

      CONGESTION BOOST

      The £15 congestion charge came in during the first coronavirus lockdown.

      Many drivers fined for driving in central London at the weekend or in the evening – times they'd previously been fine to travel for free.

      THREE METHODS OF VOTING

      • In person at a polling station
      • By postal vote
      • By proxy vote

      HOW TO FIND YOUR POLLING STATION

      Polling stations will open at 7am and close at 10pm.

      Details of where you need to go are on your polling card – which you should have received in the mail by now.

      If you aren’t sure where it is, you can contact your local council to find out where you need to go.

      To check to see if there are local elections in your area you can pop in your postcode here.

      GOING TO THE POLLS

      Local elections will go ahead on May 6 after being postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

      Polling stations will implement Covid safe measures, including social distancing and face masks.

      Voters are also encouraged to bring their own pens or pencils to mark their ballot papers if possible.

      However, if those who cannot do so will have access to regularly sanitised or single use pencils.

      • John Hall

        MAYOR'S PLEDGE

        Sadiq Khan has vowed to scrap the hated £15 congestion charge if re-elected as London Mayor.

        Khan, who is almost certain to be re-elected in the capital, insisted the hike to £15 until 10pm seven days a week was only a temporary measure.

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