Croydon voters don’t know who ‘ghost’ Tory Mayor candidate Susan Hall is ahead of election

By Staff

Voters in Croydon have said they don’t know who the Conservative Party’s pick for Mayor of London, Susan Hall, is and referred to her as a ‘ghost’ with the local elections only seven weeks away. The London Assembly Member and Harrow councillor will challenge the capital’s current leader, Sadiq Khan, with other candidates on May 2.

MyLondon spoke to voters near East Croydon station on a chilly Monday morning (March 11). Locals were shown a photo of Ms Hall before also being asked if they recognised Mr Khan.

Susan Williams, 67, and her husband Philip Williams, 69, are retired civil servants. Susan has lived in Croydon all her life, with Philip having been in the borough for 28 years.

READ MORE: Conservatives silent on whether Susan Hall has received cash from race row donor

When shown a photo of Susan Hall and asked if they recognised her, Philip shook his head. Susan said she ‘recognised her face’ but did not know her name.

Upon being shown the picture of Sadiq Khan, Philip knew who the mayor was instantly. Something then connected in the couple’s minds, as both then said of the previous image: “Is that the Conservative candidate for mayor?”

Asked if they knew her name, Philip said: “No”. Asked if they had any thoughts about Ms Hall, he added: “No, because we don’t know anything about her, anything she stands for or what she plans or wants to do.”

‘She’s non-existent’

On Mr Khan, Susan said: “He’s got some good policies”. Asked who they usually voted for, the Croydonians replied that they usually put their cross in Labour candidates.

Philip said it would be the same this time as he’s ‘only really heard’ of the current mayor. “The other one is non existent”, he added, “she’s a ghost.” Susan said this time around she will ‘look out for’ the Green Party’s candidate – Zoë Garbett.

Clare Klos, 77, a retired administrator, has lived for 60 years in Croydon. She did not recognise Ms Hall but did know who Mr Khan was.

Asked what issues she would be considering ahead of the election, Mr Klos said that she would be ‘thinking about Croydon’. She added that she thought the mayor had ‘aggravated drivers’.

Ash Grant, 35, works in tech and has lived in Croydon for five years. He was out in town with his girlfriend Arabella O’Brien, 26, who works in marketing.

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Similar to others, the couple did not know who Susan Hall was, but recognised Mr Khan – who has been mayor of the capital since 2016 – and knew what he did immediately. Asked if they had any thoughts about him, Ash said: “Not particularly.”

Arabella said: “Not really, no”. Asked if they had ever seen her or knew anything about the Tory candidate, both replied in the negative. On whether they knew what Mr Khan stands for, Ash said: “ULEZ, that’s the only one that comes to mind.”

He said of the £12.50 fee that it was ‘unfairly targeted’ as ‘lots of working class people rely on their cars for trade and work and stuff’. He added that he plans to vote on May 2, but does not know for whom at this stage.

Arabella said she is also planning to cast a ballot, but added she was sceptical about the candidates on offer.

She said: “I feel like they’re all kind of – it’s like the best of a bad bunch.” Asked who she would consider to be the best, Arabella she is ‘usually Conservative’ but she feels like the party’s candidate is ‘not great either’ this time.

Michael Harfield, 51, who has lived in South Croydon for 11 years is currently unemployed having previously worked as a carpet fitter. He did not recognise Ms Hall, but her face was ‘familiar’.

He did know who Mr Khan was. Asked if he had any thoughts about Mr Khan, he said “not really”. Mr Harfield added that he does not plan to vote and he has never cast a ballot.

Asked why, he said: “Don’t matter who runs the country, does it?” But, he added that he would ‘maybe keep an eye on it [the election] on the news’ as it unfolds.

Ms Hall ‘doesn’t comment on polling’

Susan Hall’s team was approached for comment, but MyLondon was informed that she does not respond to polling.

City Hall is running a £210 million scrappage scheme for London drivers who can apply for a grant to either retrofit or scrap their non-ULEZ compliant vehicle. Transport for London’s (TfL) latest report into the scheme, which is now the largest clean air zone in the world, found that 95 per cent of vehicles seen driving in the zone on an average day are already compliant.

A spokesperson for TfL previously told MyLondon: “The ULEZ is not about making money and will not generate a surplus in the next few years as compliance increases. It will lead to cleaner air while generating ever smaller net revenues, as has been the case with the previous expansion to inner London where people switched to greener vehicles.”

Other candidates

There are nine other candidates for the London mayoral election.

  • Shyam Batra, independent
  • Rob Blackie, Liberal Democrats
  • Natalie Campbell, independent
  • Howard Cox, Reform UK
  • Amy Gallagher, SDP
  • Zoe Garbett, Green Party
  • Tarun Ghulati, independent
  • Andreas Michli, independent
  • Count Binface, independent

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