Sadiq Khan says London relies on success across England for its own prosperity, including Yorkshire for its buses

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan runs along the seafront in Brighton where the Labour Party is holding its conference (PA)Mayor of London Sadiq Khan runs along the seafront in Brighton where the Labour Party is holding its conference (PA)
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan runs along the seafront in Brighton where the Labour Party is holding its conference (PA)
London relies on the north of England and other regions for its successes, Sadiq Khan has said, as he said the idea that the rest of the country should be thankful for the capital's success is "not the right approach”.

Mr Khan told reporters that London relies on skills, like bus builders in West Yorkshire and financiers in Leeds to thrive in the way that it does, and that the city should have the “humility” to recognise that.

Mr Khan spoke to regional political correspondents at the Labour Party conference, to “build bridges” and said: “What successive Londoners have done is give the impression that the rest of the country should be grateful.

“That's not the right approach.

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“The right approach is London only succeeds when the country does, not to lecture you about ‘you should be grateful for London’.”

He went on: “I'll give you a couple of examples. We in London would get the buses we need without skilled engineers in West Yorkshire, in Scotland, and elsewhere because it's skilled engineers and tradesmen who make the buses.

“We can't, as a, as a city, you know, do well in finances, without great financial people in Leeds, for example, right, like other examples. The extra taxis in London, we've got the expertise to make them, we need a qualified engineers in West Midlands who make our taxis,

“I can go forth and so we as Londoners have got to just have the humility to recognise that we only thrive and flourish with the rest of the world.”

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The day before the end of Sir Keir Starmer’s first in-person conference as Labour leader - one which has been marred by infighting over leadership election rules and the resignation of a Shadow Minister - Mr Khan said that the party has “turned a corner” but still has work to do.

When asked if the event had had any resonance with the public given the ongoing fuel and energy crises, Mr Khan told reporters: “I compare our loss in 2019 to a football team aspiring to be the Premier League champions, not becoming the Premier League champions, but then being relegated.

“That's how bad the result was, it was the worst result since 1935.

“So we've got to rebuild our team, get the foundations right, Make sure you’ve got the right squad, the right partner of talent coming through, get promotion to the Premier League again become competitive, vie for the European places then win the Premier League,” he added, before suggesting that Sir Keir’s team were still on their first “season”.

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“We’ve got a fuel crisis taking place, energy prices are going up, and the Labour conference isn’t the first and second story, because of all of the challenges people are facing,” he said, before adding “But turning the corner means getting the foundation's right”, bestowing particular praise on the speech from Shadow Chancellor and Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves.

The conference was overshadowed on Monday by the resignation of Shadow Employment Secretary Andy McDonald.

The Shadow Scottish Secretary has since said that the move appeared to be a “planned sabotage” after Mr McDonald, quit claiming he was told by the leader’s office to argue against a £15 per hour minimum wage and bringing statutory sick pay up to the same level as the living wage.

The current Labour Party policy – as part of a “new deal for workers” – argues for an immediate minimum wage increase under a Labour government to £10 per hour and was launched earlier in the conference.

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Speaking on BBC Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme, shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray said: “We’re not quite sure why he resigned yesterday, he seems to have said one thing and written another.

“That looks as if it might be a planned sabotage of conference, rather than it being about any principle.”