Thank you, Chair. Thank you for organising for the London Youth Assembly to present me with its recommendations. I hope the London Assembly is as well behaved as the London Youth Assembly is. I know from personal experience that that may not be the case.
Chair, on Monday this week I delivered a speech about the causes of crime. This highlighted new City Hall analysis which truly lays bare the full extent of the link between serious youth violence - which started rising in 2012 - and deprivation, inequality and poverty. You cannot cut police officers and preventative services and ignore the most vulnerable people in our country at the same time as keeping crime low. Those things are fundamentally incompatible.
As the Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner [Cressida Dick CBE QPM] has said, our approach in London is starting to yield results, but we still have a long way to go and we are never going to be able to solve this problem alone. We need the Government’s help. I urge all Assembly Members to join me in calling on the new Prime Minister to acknowledge that this is a national problem that requires an urgent national solution, which involves tackling poverty and inequality, investing in our young people so that we can expand opportunity for all, supporting the most deprived communities in our country, and providing our police with the long-term increase in funding they desperately need.
Since we last met, Chair, I have also been working on a number of other initiatives to improve the lives of Londoners. Some of the things that may not come up during Mayor’s Question Times but are worth a mention include bringing together world-leading climate experts for London’s first ever Climate Action Week, celebrating the biggest ever Pride in London and standing up for London’s values against the growing threat of far-right populism.
I look forward to answering questions during the course of this morning, Chair.