London Mayoral candidates lack business focus, says events industry

As the capital awaits the mayoral election results, UK event professionals argue that leading candidates Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan both lack business focus.

A C&IT poll, which asked which mayoral candidate would most benefit the events industry, showed that respondents were on the fence when it came to making a decision. While 50% expressed a preference for Conservative Zac Goldsmith, the other half said they’d prefer Labour candidate Sadiq Khan or another representative. 

Absolute Corporate Events managing director, Chris Parnham, said that neither candidate had delivered a strong business-focussed manifesto, and that decisions would be based on personal preference. "The most relevant transport issue for the events industry is the Heathrow expansion, and none of the candidates have really discussed that enough," he explained. "Everything has been focussed on residents - so from a business perspective, I don’t feel there’s a standout candidate for me."

James Wilkins, managing director of Vista echoed these thoughts, saying that neither of the two leading candidates had discussed a real business plan for London. "I suppose I’d say I lean slightly towards Zac, because I feel he represents London better than other candidates. Whether you loved Boris or loathed him, you can’t deny he made London a more exciting city. I think Goldsmith is the most likely to uphold this."

AddingValue’s Randle Stonier said he was fairly agnostic on the matter, and that the Brexit debate was much more pertinent to the industry. "I think until that’s out of the way, it’s hard to focus on anything else." He added that both candidates lacked charisma and said neither seem to really understand the events industry.

However, Nick de Bois, former MP and chairman of the newly formed goverment events board, has been assisting with Goldsmith’s campaign and said he was ‘the best choice’ for the industry. "He will protect investment in TfL which will benefit the events industry in the long run. He has also made clear his commitment to London & Partners, an organisation which is dedicated to attracting visitors to the UK capital." 

See more on the Brexit debate:

BREXIT: Will leaving the EU benefit the UK events industry? 

BREXIT: instability impact 

BREXIT: economic impact

70% of event planners would vote to stay in the EU

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