Sadiq Khan called on international leaders on 26 February to back his campaign for improving gender equality, when he made a speech to more than 100 ambassadors from around the world in City Hall. He also reiterated his call for the government to provide proper guarantees to European citizens living in the UK.
The speech was part of the Mayor of London’s Behind Every Great City campaign, launched to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of some women getting the right to vote. The campaign champions the fact that it is the achievement and contributions of women, from all walks of life, which make cities like London great and pushes for greater gender equality for women across the city.
Sadiq called on the ambassadors to support the campaign for gender equality, and to use the momentum of the #MeToo movement to end harassment and inequality.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “We’ve seen countless instances of brave women calling out sexual harassment and violence. And now there is widespread recognition that the moment has arrived to call time on a culture of abuse, impunity and inequality that has endured for far too long.
“As the Mayor of London and a proud feminist, I believe our cities succeed when they make the most of the talents of all our citizens, rather than relying on those of just a few. Our diversity is not – as some would see it – a challenge to be managed, but an asset to be unlocked.
“That’s why I’ve launched Behind Every Great City, a new campaign to mark 100 years since the first women in our country secured the right to vote. I want to shine a light on the achievements of women who’ve shaped the course of history and the fortunes of our city.”
The Mayor will also renew his call for the Government to guarantee that the three million EU citizens living in the UK – over one million of whom live in London – can stay after Brexit and that their rights will respected. He has been clear since the Brexit vote that London and the UK’s interests are best served by single market membership.
“I’m continuing to lobby the government for a clear and unambiguous guarantee for the three million EU citizens currently living in Britain – more than one million of whom are Londoners.
“They should be entitled to stay here after Brexit and know that their rights will be respected in full.
“London is and always will be open to everyone — regardless of the colour of your skin, passport or flag. The victims of Grenfell and terror attacks in London came from all corners of our globe, but they were all united by two common identities, as Londoners and citizens of the world.
“I believe we best honour their memory, not by turning inwards and indulging the politics of blame and recrimination, but by turning outwards, and seeking new partnerships and allies.”
H.E. Mrs Janice Charette, High Commissioner for Canada to the UK, said: “I am delighted to lend my support to Mayor Khan’s brilliant campaign to celebrate the leadership role women can and do play in making London great. Canada is also working hard to ensure that gender equality and the celebration of our diversity influences all aspects of our work and empowers women and girls everywhere to take their rightful place in creating communities that work for all of us.”
H.E. Mr Jean-Pierre Jouyet, French Ambassador to the UK, said: “Mayor Khan recognises the importance of the social, economic, and cultural contribution of the three million EU citizens who call the United Kingdom home. I know it means a lot to the French citizens who live across Britain. We welcome the particular attention the Mayor pays to the EU citizens and their future in this country.”