No 10 slams 'hysterical' Sadiq Khan over PM's London 'lab rats' remark

Downing Street has dismissed a claim by Labour’s London mayoral candidate, Sadiq Khan, that the prime minister called Londoners rats.

Addressing a rally on Tuesday for the Conservative mayoral candidate, Zac Goldsmith, David Cameron told voters in the capital that they would be “lab rats in the first Corbyn economic experiment in public life” if Khan were elected in May.

Responding to the remarks, Khan tweeted:

Asked to clarify the prime minister’s comments, a spokesperson for Cameron said: “Well, I’m shocked at how desperate Sadiq Khan is. What the PM actually said was that we didn’t want Londoners to be treated as lab rats in a Corbyn experiment.

“So it would be helpful if Sadiq Khan actually looked at what the PM said and didn’t issue hysterical tweets.”

Londoners will go to the ballot box in 100 days’ time, and a recent YouGov poll gave Khan a 10-point lead over Goldsmith. A third of those surveyed said they did not know which way they would vote.

Cameron told the rally: “Zac Goldsmith can be a great mayor. You’ve got the man and the plan. Think for a moment about the alternative.”

He pointed out that Khan had nominated Jeremy Corbyn to be Labour leader and then said he did not regret it. “Never mind the fact he [Corbyn] wants to give the Falklands back to Argentina or he thinks that nuclear submarines should patrol the Atlantic without any missiles.

“His policy is to bring back and legalise secondary strikes and flying pickets. Just think what the first Corbyn-elected mayor would be like for our economy, for our city. You do not want to be lab rats in the first Corbyn economic experiment in public life.”

Khan, the MP for Tooting, has previously sought to distance himself from the Labour leadership, arguing that a key part of the job of London mayor is to be an advocate for the capital and not for a political party.

“That is the job of the mayor of London: not to be a patsy or a spokesperson for George Osborne and David Cameron – as Mr Goldsmith is being – or Jeremy Corbyn or the party, but to be London’s advocate to their party and the government,” Khan told the Telegraph earlier this month.

Powered by article was written by Frances Perraudin, for on Wednesday 27th January 2016 17.09 Europe/ © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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