London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said London should should receive additional devolved powers in the wake of the EU referendum.
On Thursday, London voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union, in stark contrast to the majority of England, which voted to leave.
A petition launched after the Brexit decision that called on the mayor to make London an independent city state gained more than 175,000 signatures.
In a keynote speech delivered to business leaders in the capital and designed to quell fears about the future of the city, Khan said:
“As much as I might like the idea of a London city state, I’m not seriously talking about independence today. I am not planning to install border points on the M25!
“But on behalf of all Londoners, I am demanding more autonomy for the capital – right now. More autonomy in order to protect London’s economy from the uncertainty ahead, to protect the businesses from around the world who trade here and to protect our jobs, wealth and prosperity.”
He stressed that he wasn’t “asking for London to get a bigger slice of the British pie”, only for Londoners to “get more control over the slice of the pie we already get.”
He reassured people in the rest of the UK that they will benefit from more devolution for London “because when London succeeds, the rest of the country succeeds too. And when we fail, the entire nation fails”.
It is understood that Mayor is looking for the devolution of fiscal responsibility including tax raising powers, as well as more control over business and skills, housing and planning, transport, health and policing and criminal justice.
The Mayor’s call was today backed by business and Government leaders from across London.
Jules Pipe, Chair of London Councils, said:
“London Government is speaking with one voice on this issue. We need more power over our own destiny to help cope with the fallout of leaving the EU.”