Where Do London’s Mayoral Candidates Stand on Lockdown?

15 April 2021

With some noble exceptions, opposition to lockdown has been largely absent from British politics. Yet the London mayoral election on May 6th features several candidates calling for an end to restrictions.

Most pundits and pollsters expect a win for Sadiq Khan – and they’re almost certainly right. But London-based lockdown sceptics can at least this opportunity to register their discontent. But which candidate should you vote for? Is it Lozza all the way, or are there some other sceptical candidates standing too? Worth remembering you have a supplementary vote, too, so if the candidate you want to be Mayor is eliminated, your other vote is transferred to your second choice.

We sent questions to each of the anti-lockdown candidates, as well as those who had expressed sceptical sentiment in the past, to find out where they stand on reopening, vaccine passports, and London after lockdown.

Lawrence Fox (Reclaim)

Actor and free speech activist, also backed by Richard Tice and the Reform party.

Should London be opening quicker than the current roadmap?
London should never have been locked down. Now that we have comparative evidence from around the world to support this position, London should swiftly reopen and never lock down again.

What changes would you like to see immediately?
I would like to see a removal of the mask mandate, support for personal risk assessments and an immediate opening of the hospitality industry. Make London fun again.

What do you think have been the biggest mistakes of the lockdown?
Lockdown is a failed government public health experiment, the collateral damage of which is unprecedented. 220,000 lives will be lost as a result of this experiment. More broadly, the complete suppression of a balanced debate has pushed us further towards authoritarianism. We must reclaim the neutral ground.

Do you support vaccine passports for international travel?
Absolutely not. However much we all want to get back to normal, the repercussions of this policy will be more state control and more abuses of that control. We need to put the severity of the virus into perspective and balance that against the impingement on our individual freedom.

Do you support vaccine passports for domestic use?
Absolutely not. For the reasons stated above.

When do you think Londoners should return to the office?
Londoners should not have left the office. They should get back now, making personal judgements about appropriate social distancing. We need to get London moving.

When should international travel be restored?
All London airports should have been open to international tourist travel from the Easter weekend. With the Government claiming vaccine rollout success, there is no discernible reason to keep the population under house arrest.


Piers Corbyn (Let London Live)

Longtime contrarian and climate heretic; organiser of anti-lockdown demos.

Should London be opening quicker than the current roadmap?
Yes. It should never have been closed. My Let London Live policies will save jobs and lives, whereas Government policies are costing jobs and lives.

What changes would you like to see immediately?
An ending to all the lockdowns and Covid restrictions. We would also call upon the government to enable the NHS to spend more on serious illnesses – e.g. cancer and diabetes – so that these conditions aren’t left behind.

What do you think have been the biggest mistakes of the lockdown?
All lockdowns are a mistake. There is no statistical evidence that they work, only evidence that they do not (e.g. Sweden). The purpose of lockdowns is not to reduce infection; they are part of a larger agenda to destroy businesses and impose The Great Reset/New World Order.

Do you support vaccine passports for international travel?
No, I oppose them.

Do you support vaccine passports for domestic use?
No. Vaccine passports are discriminatory and the evidence is that the vaccination policy itself does more harm than good; compared with using other treatments for Covid-like symptoms, e.g. Ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and vitamin D.

When do you think Londoners should return to the office?
Those who wish to return to the office should return immediately.

When should international travel be restored?
International travel should be restored immediately.

Dr Peter Gammons (UKIP)

Motivational speaker and Brexiteer, looking to “take our capital back”.

Should London be opening quicker than the current roadmap?
Yes, I have said all along that lockdown would result in more deaths than Covid. Just look at some of the cost of lockdown on health (missed cancer diagnoses and operations postponed), on businesses and on our national debt.

What changes would you like to see immediately?
Lockdown should end immediately. The Government has chosen a totally wrong strategy to deal with a virus which does not pose a serious threat to most people. I hope when people go to vote they will remember that the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Labour are equally guilty in supporting lockdown.

What do you think have been the biggest mistakes of the lockdown?
Lockdown itself. Once again, UKIP was the first party to support the Great Barrington Declaration. One British scientific journal reported in March that up to two thirds of those who died of Covid during the first lockdown caught it in care homes and hospitals.

Do you support vaccine passports for international travel?
No, it is blackmail. We are told that the vaccine does not stop the spread of Covid and at best only lessens the symptoms, so what is the point of forcing people to have it if they do not want to? It should be the individual’s choice.

Do you support vaccine passports for domestic use?
No, once again, it is governmental bullying. UKIP was started 28 years ago to stand up to the bullying elite in Westminster. We are a libertarian party who believe in minimum government and oppose politicians interfering in people’s lives.

When do you think Londoners should return to the office?
Immediately – while there is still some hope of recovery.

When should international travel be restored?
Immediately. Things are almost back to normal in so many countries. Friends overseas are shocked we are still holding people under house arrest. Young people are suffering most. Their education is being destroyed by the Government, over a virus which holds next to no threat to them. And they will be the ones having to pay for it all.

Steve Kelleher (SDP)

City recruitment executive and candidate for the revived SDP – centre-left (economically) and pro-Brexit.

Should London be opening quicker than the current roadmap?
Yes. On the data there is no reason why we can’t open the economy and society in general immediately. This country has lent immense trust to the Government during this pandemic. That trust is beginning to fray.

What changes would you like to see immediately?
London’s economic and social institutions should be reopened. The vaccine programme has successfully protected the overwhelming number of vulnerable citizens. If the Government genuinely backs the vaccine it should re-open society and the economy.

What do you think have been the biggest mistakes of the lockdown?
A total failure by the Government to properly assess the social and economic costs of the suppression measures. From the start the Government has failed to acknowledge the cost-benefit trade-offs associated with its lockdown measures. Like Tony Blair and Iraq – this Government will never acknowledge its staggering mistake.

Do you support vaccine passports for international travel?
The SDP is not keen on vaccine passports in principle. However, I believe the market will decide. Vaccine passports will emerge for international travel irrespective of UK public policy because airlines, some nation states and other organisations will mandate it. You can’t gain entry to Ghana without a yellow fever certificate.

Do you support vaccine passports for domestic use?
In general, a strong no. The idea of having to produce a vaccine certificate to obtain goods and services or to enter public facilities is totally wrong, in principle, in a free society.

When do you think Londoners should return to the office?
As soon as possible. Let’s get London buzzing again.

When should international travel be restored?
The Government should be very careful in permitting unlimited travel to known pandemic hotspots this summer. Many states in continental Europe are suffering steepening viral curves and while that is the case the UK should act cautiously. It is far better to prioritise and re-open the domestic UK economy than to prioritise international travel.

David Kurten (Heritage)

Social conservative former UKIPper; regular at anti-lockdown demos.

Should London be opening quicker than the current roadmap?
Yes, London should open up immediately. Pubs, bars, restaurants, offices, music venues and theatres should all be opened.

What changes would you like to see immediately?
I would operate a policy of non-enforcement of lockdown regulations, so that people can meet each other and businesses can start to trade again without the fear of getting hassled by the Metropolitan Police.

What do you think have been the biggest mistakes of the lockdown?
The destruction of our civil liberties and economy, the damage to children’s education, and the non-treatment of people with any other health conditions. Also the suppression of hydroxychloroquine/zinc and Ivermectin/zinc which are cheap, safe and effective treatments for early stage Covid that could have saved countless lives.

Do you support vaccine passports for international travel?
No

Do you support vaccine passports for domestic use?
No

When do you think Londoners should return to the office?
Immediately

When should international travel be restored?
Immediately

Brian Rose (London Real Party)

YouTuber and business coach. U.S. citizen.

Should London be opening quicker than the current roadmap?
Yes, a phased re-opening that allows non-vulnerable individuals to return to work voluntarily would allow the city to power-up over a period of weeks, rather than waiting to get everyone back simultaneously.

What changes would you like to see immediately?
The use of outdoor venues should be given the green light – meeting a friend in fresh air is not just relatively safe, it has health benefits, both mental and physical, just as exercising with a friend has multiple benefits.

What do you think have been the biggest mistakes of the lockdown?
The relentlessly muddled policies have, from day one, caused confusion and resentment. This is still happening – for example, from April 6th, hauliers arriving from France, which has very high Covid rates, have had to be tested – but within 48 hours, rather than immediately. That potential delay makes no sense from the point of view of controlling Covid’s spread.

Do you support vaccine passports for international travel?
It would seem sensible to treat Covid like other vaccinations for travel purposes.

Do you support vaccine passports for domestic use?
No. Vaccinations minimise the risk of a serious or fatal COVID-19 outcome, but it is not clear if they prevent infection or transmission. As such, a vaccine passport would be of limited use to the population as a whole, and we should respect an individual’s right to decide what is injected into their body.

When do you think Londoners should return to the office?
A phased reopening – with the voluntary agreement of all involved – would allow us to come up to speed over a period of weeks.

When should international travel be restored?
International travel should be decided on a country-by-country basis. Roughly 75% of all jabs have been administered in just 10 countries so it’s clear that risk levels are going to vary.

Shaun Bailey (Conservative)

Youth worker and former David Cameron ally, promising a ‘fresh start’ for London. Enjoys the badge of honour of having been accused of being a “lockdown sceptic” by Sadiq Khan.

Based on his previous opposition to the ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown last year (as well as to London being put into ‘Tier 3’ last winter), we sent our questions to Shaun Bailey.

Despite several attempts, we did not hear back from Mr Bailey or his team. If anyone from that team would like to get in touch, you can email your answers to us here.