A former civil servant who hopes to become mayor of London says she wants cannabis to be legalised, in a bid to tackle rising levels of knife crime.
Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita launched her campaign for City Hall with pledges to cut violent crime levels and air pollution.
She also pledged to reopen closed police stations and declared an aim to “reach zero-carbon” by 2030.
Ms Benita said kindness was at the heart of her policies.
At the launch at a restaurant near St Paul’s Cathedral, she said: “I want to use the huge political power you would have as mayor of London to lobby government to change.”
‘No issue bigger’
Talking of legalising cannabis by launching pilots across London, she said: “You can’t say you’re doing everything to tackle knife crime if you’re not talking about drugs reform.
“We have such a violent, wealthy and illegal drugs market operating in London and it’s causing so many of the issues that we’re seeing in terms of knife crime.”
She also praised the Extinction Rebellion protest group for putting pressure on politicians, and said there was “no issue bigger than how we collectively deal with the climate crisis”.
And Ms Benita criticised current mayor Sadiq Khan for continuing with the planned Silvertown road tunnel under the Thames. and his four-year Underground fare freeze scheme.
Her transport plans would be included in her forthcoming manifesto, she said.
Others intending to run for the post include the rapper Drillmaster, who is fighting against media “discrimination”.
Former UKIP politician and Brexit Alliance Group member on the London Assembly, David Kurten, has also declared.
Mr Kurten told the Local Democracy Reporting Service he would fill a “political space” in the mayoral race.
Mr Khan is running again for the Labour Party, Shaun Bailey was selected by the Conservatives in 2018 and has been emphasising fighting crime, while the Greens have chosen Sian Berry to run for them.
The former Tory MP Rory Stewart is running as an independent.