Sadiq Khan blasted mayoral candidate rival Rory Stewart for “flippant sound bites” over his pledge to resign as mayor if he fails to cut knife crime.

In November of last year, independent candidate Rory Stewart vowed to quit as Mayor of London if he failed to tackle knife crime – of which he accuses Mr Khan.

He said: “If I don’t cut violent crime in my first two years, I’ll quit. No more passing the buck or heads buried in the sand.”

Mr Khan blasted the remarks, claiming they ignored the complex reality of violent crime.

Hillingdon Times:

Rory Stewart has vowed to quit as mayor if he fails to tackle knife crime.

He said: “The question to ask Stewart is why over last ten years did he vote for cuts in police, youth services, after school clubs and in all facilities to keep people safe.

"The problem you have is people giving flippant soundbite responses to a really serious and complex issue and when you speak to youth workers the last thing they want is a failed politician coming up with cheap sound bites.”

Mr Stewart has made knife crime the focal point on his election campaign.

Last month he published plans to boost neighbourhood policing with extra patrols, pledging to triple the number of neighbourhood police officers on the streets in his first year in office.

He said: “The police do an incredible job, but too often they have been diverted to centralised taskforces and specialist units, and the relationship between local police and local people is lost. I will turn this around by emphasising the value of those relationships - ensuring that every Londoner knows the name and number of their local neighbourhood team.”

Last week City Hall announced Sadiq Khan will spend an extra £55 million next year to tackle violent crime.

The Mayor has now pledged to boost youth services and police funding by more than £100 million next year.

Mr Khan said: “This money will see more facilities for young people to be kept busy after school, giving schools a system, so rather than children being excluded they stay in schools and those children who are excluded will be given help to make sure that we don’t have excluded children getting involved in mischief and gangs.

“The money will also make sure that at certain times of day there are outreach workers going to communities to help people to do more constrictive things such as in a youth club and we think from evidence the way to deal with violent crime is to give young people safe things.”