London : London’s new mayor Boris Johnson will use his first few days in office to set out a wide-ranging programme for action, his aides said Sunday.
Johnson will make clear his intention to press ahead with some of the most controversial elements of his election manifesto, including weapon scanners for Tube and rail stations.
He is also expected to make efforts to build bridges with London’s ethnic minorities, after pledging in his victory acceptance speech to include representatives of all the British capital’s diverse communities in his administration.
Johnson was attacked during the mayoral campaign as a divisive figure who would be unable to represent London’s large ethnic minority population, but he has insisted since his victory that he aims to act as a unifying force.
Today, Simon Woolley, director of pressure group “Operation Black Vote”, said “As London’s new mayor, Johnson must now demonstrate that he understands what it means to govern a multi-cultural metropolis”.
“Big business is crucial, but equally important is the challenge to address the half a million Londoners that live in poverty, the majority of whom will be African, Caribbean and Asian”, he added.
Johnson finally receives the seals of office from outgoing mayor Ken Livingstone at midnight tonight, and his aides said he would use the next few days to start work on the delivery of key campaign promises, He defeated Ken Livingstone who was the Labour mayor for the last eight years.
The election of Johnson added to the woes of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown over the massive defeat of the ruling Labour party in the local elections, commentators said.