Harrow’s Susan Hall is one of two people running to be the Conservative party candidate in the London mayoral election in 2024.
If chosen by party members over her competitor, Moz Hossain, Ms Hall will go up against Labour mayor Sadiq Khan, who is running for a historic third term in office.
What’s Susan Hall’s story?
Describing herself as a “Londoner through and through”, Ms Hall started her professional life working in her father’s garage, where she had been taught how to strip down car engines.
After marrying a hairdresser, Ms Hall opened a salon with him, employing up to 20 people at one stage.
In 2006, she was elected as a Harrow borough councillor, and has represented Hatch End on the authority ever since. For a period in 2013-14, she was the council’s leader.
In 2017, she joined the London Assembly, where she regularly challenges Mr Khan during public meetings. From 2019 until earlier this year, she was leader of the Assembly’s Conservative group.
Ms Hall has said that she tends to say “exactly what I’m thinking” and that she would seek to “be more direct with Londoners” than Mr Khan.
She has called Twitter her “hobby” and has a sizable following of some 20,700 accounts on the social media platform.
What are her policies?
Ms Hall has said her “passion is policing”. She has pledged to invest £200m in the Met Police “to tackle the scourge of knives, modernise the police to use the latest artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology, and work to dismantle the gangs and organised crime networks that ruin so many lives”.
She has also said she will on “day one” scrap Mr Khan’s “disastrous” plan to expand the Ultra low emission zone (ULEZ), meaning that outer London will not be covered by the zone following her election.
Ms Hall plans to abolish 20mph limits from the capital’s main roads, while retaining the limit in residential areas and around schools.
She has also pledged to “build a lot more homes in the right places” and says that she would move away from high-rise tower blocks full of one and two-bedroom flats to “high density, low-rise” family homes, promising residents their “own front door and patch of garden, even if it is just a postage stamp”.
Could she defeat Sadiq Khan?
Ms Hall’s supporters point out that unlike Mr Hossain or Daniel Korski before his withdrawal from the race, Ms Hall has fought and won elections.
She has gathered years of experience at City Hall and says she is “the one Sadiq Khan fears”.
James Johnson, a former Downing Street pollster who worked under Theresa May, has however warned that Ms Hall “would be a fine candidate but she would be a dull one”.
He added: “She has said so herself, calling her campaign “Safer with Susan” and talking about the need for a “boring” person in City Hall.
“But the Conservatives cannot afford boring. Voters want radicalism, excitement, and a clear alternative to what they see as a failed mayor.”