‘Keep your grubby paws out!’ Sadiq Khan slammed by rival after mayor’s latest Brexit swipe | Politics | News

January 21, 2024
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’s latest remarks on the subject of Brexit – specifically demanding free movement for young people between the UK and the bloc – have been met with a scathing rebuke by mayoral electoral rival Howard Cox, who urged him to “keep his grubby ego driven paws out of other politics”.

And Reform UK’s candidate for this year’s election also claimed Mr Khan’s eurocentric remarks were aimed at catching the attention of potential employers should he be defeated on May 2.

London Mayor Mr Khan has made little secret of his opposition to Britain’s decision to quit the bloc in 2016, and returned to the subject once more in an interview in which he backed the idea of bespoke “youth mobility” agreements with EU countries, or alternatively changes to existing post-Brexit visa rules.

He further declared: “While the UK may no longer be part of the , London is, and always will be, a European city.”

Mr Cox, a committed Brexiteer, was unsurprisingly unimpressed.

He told Express.co.uk: “He simply can’t keep his grubby ego-driven paws out of other politics.

“I call upon Keir Starmer to tell this dishonest self-obsessed Mayor to focus exclusively on rescuing London from his incompetent eight years of leadership.

“Khan has brought London to a virtual standstill, into economic decline and allowed knife crime to become rife.

“This opportunistic distraction into the EU arena to poach capital’s large number of anti-Brexit votes, shows he is eyeing up other political jobs if he loses big in May at the ballot box.

“With all the signs he will!”

Speaking to The Observer, Mr Khan said: “The government’s hard Brexit has done damage right across London and it is young people who have been hardest hit in so many ways.

“Not only is it more difficult for young people to move abroad for work, but the government’s wrong-headed decision to leave the Erasmus scheme has made it much harder for students to study abroad too.”

He added: “I’m clear that I’d be supportive of a youth mobility scheme, which would benefit us economically, culturally and socially.”

The Mayor of London’s office has been contacted for a response to Howard Cox’s comments.

A report published by IFF Research last month claimed disadvantaged young people may have been deterred from participating in the UK’s post-Brexit alternative to the Erasmus+ programme, the Turing Scheme.

The research suggested that participants completing a year abroad often needed to leave in July or August, before being aware whether the requisite financial assistance would even be available.

It added: “There was a general view that some delivery issues raised had a greater impact on participants from a disadvantaged background and may have created barriers to many participating.”

Frequent Brexit critic Guy Verhofstadt MEP, the ex-Belgian Prime Minister, was quick to gloat on X, formerly Twitter.

He posted: “Yet another post-Brexit ‘alternative’ turns out suboptimal…

“There is one alternative… especially for young Britons: Undo Brexit and Rejoin!”

Express.co.uk has approached the Mayor of London’s Office for comment.



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