A former Labour minister who set up the structure for the elected mayor of London has accused Boris Johnson of an “unrealistic” power grab in his bid to persuade the government to allow London to keep a greater share of its own wealth. Nick Raynsford, a Labour MP who drew up the legislation for the first elected mayor of the country and the London tier of government, welcomed the way the role had evolved and become more powerful since it was established in 2000, but warned that Johnson’s pitch to stop the “tax export” to other parts of the country would fall foul of the government amid fears that it would increase inequalities across the regions. The incumbent mayor has set his sights on stronger powers over the London economy as he seeks re-election for a second term on 3 May. The latest YouGov poll for the London Evening Standard gives him a lead of four percentage points (52%-48%) over his Labour rival, the former mayor Ken Livingstone, who held the reins for eight years. The Conservative candidate says he wants an end to London routinely paying more in tax than the government spends in the capital and if re-elected… Read full this story
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