In the upcoming elections across Britain on May 6, voters will elect a mayor.
In England, local elections will occur in May, with councils receiving an additional £30 million to make polling stations and counts COVID-19 secure.
More than six million Britons are registered to vote, with a mayoral election held every four years. The election was initially set for 2020, but due to the pandemic, it was delayed.
Voters will be required to carry their pens or pencils to fill out their ballot papers, and face coverings will be required in polling stations.
Who are the candidates standing for Mayor this year and what do we know about their careers?
London Mayoral Race Candidate Shaun Bailey, Conservatives
Former youth worker
Shaun worked as a social worker for twenty years. He worked as a Downing Street adviser, assisting with implementing the National Citizen Service, the largest youth initiative in British history. He’s already been a member of the London Assembly for the last five years, trying to keep the Mayor accountable.
Bailey achieved a 2.2 in computer-assisted engineering from London South Bank University when he was 27 years old. He paid his university tuition by working as a security guard at Wembley Stadium and the London Trocadero.
Bailey co-founded MyGeneration, a charity that tackles the social challenges assisting young people in transitioning from violence to jobs, in May 2006. It was founded just before Bailey was chosen by the Conservative Party to run in the newly created Hammersmith constituency.
If won, he promises to hire over 8,000 new police officers and reverse the Congestion Charge increase.
London Mayoral Race Candidate Kam Balayev, Renew
Former international law, global risk, and transnational business
Kam Balayev, who worked in international law before joining Renew, is the party’s mayoral candidate. He claims that London can rival Silicon Valley and that participatory budgets, e-petitions, and public assemblies will help him achieve this goal.
London Mayoral Race Candidate Sian Berry, Green Party
Former medical copywriter
Berry grew up in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England, where she was born. She earned a Master of Engineering degree after studying metallurgy and the physics of materials at Trinity College, Oxford. She moved to London after graduating in 1997.
Berry became a Green Party member at the age of 27 after deciding that her job as a medical copywriter for major pharmaceutical firms was incompatible with her values. She started a new career with an ethical temping agency that partnered with several voluntary groups as she became more politically active.
She called for expanded support for youth programs and submitted a motion at City Hall demanding that the Mayor implement a Guaranteed Basic Income in London.
London Mayoral Race Candidate Count Binface, Independent
Self-proclaimed interplanetary space warrior
Count Binface is a fictional character created by British comedian Jon Harvey, who first revealed the nature on Twitter on December 12, 2018. In the 2019 United Kingdom general election, he ran for Uxbridge and South Ruislip. Count Binface, previously Lord Buckethead, is best known for campaigning against Theresa May in 2017 and Boris Johnson in 2019, earning 249 and 69 votes.
His policies include making London a member of the European Union and renaming London Bridge after Phoebe Waller.
London Mayoral Race Candidate Valerie Brown, Burning Pink
Mother, grandmother, and vigilante
Her political aim is to place the community firmly at the heart of decision-making and implement the vision Londoners have for their city.
London Mayoral Race Candidate Piers Corbyn, Independent
Piers Richard Corbyn, an English weather forecaster, trader, politician, anti-vaxxer, and conspiracy theorist. He is Jeremy Corbyn’s older brother and former Labour Party leader.
In 1995, he founded WeatherAction, a company, after working as a weather forecaster for several years. Corbyn’s forecasts are sold by WeatherAction, a company he created. He has placed bets on these forecasts in the past.
London Mayoral Race Candidate Drillminister, Independent
Drillminister, born and raised in Southeast London, is likely to be placed on the ballot because his “commonly used name” is a drill rapper with 4,763 monthly Spotify listeners.
The mask-wearing candidate is best known for his association with Channel 4 on the song Democratic Drillin’, in which the lyrics are made up of MPs’ abusive words.
London Mayoral Race Candidate Laurence Fox, Reclaim Party
Actor and political activist
Fox is from England, who set up the Reclaim Party in 2020. From 2006 to 2015, he was best known for his appearance as DS James Hathaway in the British TV drama series Lewis.
Fox declared in March 2021 that he would run against Sadiq Khan in the upcoming London mayoral elections to fight against excessive political correctness.
London Mayoral Race Candidate Dr. Peter Gammons, UKIP
Motivational speaker and author
UKIP candidate describes himself as a motivational speaker, broadcaster, and author who has spoken at world conferences and events.
His policies include converting millions of miles of unused tunnels beneath London into walking and cycling lanes and opposing Government lockdowns.
London Mayoral Race Candidate Sadiq Khan, Labour
Sadiq Khan worked as a human rights attorney before being elected to the House of Commons in 2005. He took his Law finals at the College of Law in Guildford after finishing his law degree in 1991. Khan left the company in 2004 after announcing his candidacy for the Labour Party’s Tooting parliamentary seat. Served as MP for Tooting for 11 years before he was elected Mayor of London in 2016.
London Mayoral Race Candidate David Kurten, Heritage Party
David Michael Kurten was born in Littlehampton, Sussex. He earned a BSc in chemistry from the University of St Andrews in 1993 and then made a PGCE from the University of Bath in 1995 and an MRes in chemistry from the University of Southampton in 1998.
Between 1995 and 2016, he taught chemistry in the United Kingdom, Botswana, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bermuda, and the United States. Before leaving teaching for politics, he was a Chemistry teacher at St George’s College, Weybridge.
His policies include ending politically correct policing and digging upcycle superhighways to return them to motor vehicles.
London Mayoral Race Candidate Farah London, Independent
The Croydon-born businesswoman has worked in the commercial sector for 22 years. Her two businesses are Chameleon Jungle, a digital branding and events company, and Back 2 Business International, an international networking site established in 2019.
Farah London began her career as a broker for Lloyd’s of London before moving on to underwriting, where she wrote legislation in the areas of oil, hospitality, climate change, extremism, and environmental liability. London was a former Conservative Party candidate who resigned in early 2020.
Her policies include making council tax-exempt for tenants under 25 and getting 6,000 more officers and special constables on the beat.
London Mayoral Race Candidate Winston McKenzie, Unity In Action
Founder and Leader of Unity In Action party
Mckenzie was the 2016 Celebrity Big Brother contestant. The politician has previously held positions in Labour, the Lib Dems, the Conservatives, Veritas, and his Unity party.
His policies include regaining control of London’s borders and deploying peacekeeping army units on the streets.
London Mayoral Race Candidate Nims Obunge, Independent
Former pastor and the founder of The Peace Alliance
He has also consulted with Wimpy Restaurants as a chef and as a certified mortgage adviser.
His policies include achieving climate neutrality in London by 2030 and imposing a visitor levy.
London Mayoral Race Candidate Luisa Porritt, Liberal Democrats
Porritt was the UK managing director for Fargo Agency, a French communications company specializing in content, multimedia, and PR services for financial sector clients. She was a journalist for seven years, writing for Reuters, The Economist, the Financial Times, and various economic exchange publications. Porritt has served as an advisor to Shriti Vadera, who later counseled funds, states, and corporations on planning and corporate policies on her own.
Her policies include converting empty office space into affordable housing.
London Mayoral Race Candidate Rosalind Readhead, Independent
Barnsbury textile designer
Readhead is an environmental activist standing for Mayor on a platform that relies mainly on climate change.
Her plans include banning private vehicles except for blue badges and reducing London’s carbon footprint to zero by 2025.
London Mayoral Race Candidate Mandu Reid, Women’s Equality Party
Leader of the British Women’s Equality Party
Mandu Reid worked in project and program management with HM Treasury, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Greater London Authority since graduating from LSE.
She created The Cup Effect in 2015, a time poverty charity that raises funds and distributes menstrual cups to women and girls in the UK and East Africa. Reid took over the temporary leadership of the WEP in April 2019 and was confirmed as the party’s leader in January 2020. She has been dubbed “the first black, queer political party leader in the United Kingdom.” Reid is the party’s mayoral candidate for London in 2021.
Her policies include making London the first gender-equal city globally and ensuring that no woman is turned away from the refuge.
London Mayoral Race Candidate Brian Rose, Independent
Brian Rose is a podcaster based in London who was born in the United States. He created London Real in 2011, a podcast and YouTube channel with two million viewers, after a career in banking in New York and London, where he promoted disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic.
He is the host and CEO of the podcast and YouTube channel London True, which he created in 2011. The channel has a tradition of promoting conspiracy theories and spreading myths about the COVID-19 pandemic.
His strategies include making public decisions based on empirical data and restricting all on-street parking in central London, favouring green spaces.
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