Siobhan Benita says 'time is right' for independent mayor

London mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita on schools and airport policies

The only independent candidate in the race for London's City Hall has said voters are disillusioned with the main political parties and could choose a non-aligned mayor on 3 May.

Siobhan Benita said all the parties were "fighting over the centre ground" and it was unclear what they stood for.

The former civil servant said her experience of government gave her the right credentials for the job of mayor.

Her backers include Sir Richard Branson and Michael Portillo.

"All of the parties now are kind of fighting over the centre ground. I don't really know what they stand for. I think people are very disillusioned with party politics," she told BBC Two's Daily Politics.

"This is another reason why I think this is a moment in time when independent candidates can come through and make a real difference."

Different experience

Ms Benita, who is the only candidate to support building a new runway at Heathrow airport, said she had "always voted Labour" in the past but added: "Do I know what I would vote in the next election? Absolutely not."

The independent candidate's campaign is being helped by her former boss, ex-civil service head Lord O'Donnell.

Her support for a third runway has won the backing of Virgin Airlines boss Sir Richard Branson and Mr Portillo, the former Conservative cabinet minister.

Wearing a t-shirt with the slogan "I am indpendent - get over it", Ms Benita said working in the transport, environment and local government departments for 15 years gave her the experience needed to be mayor.

"For the mayoral roles, we don't always have to have traditional party politicians. We should get different people coming forward with different types of experience," she added.

There are six other candidates hoping to be elected mayor when Londoners cast their votes on 3 May.

More on This Story

Vote 2012

Related Stories

More Politics stories

RSS

Features

  • Spanner CrabEdible images

    Are these the best food photographs of the past year?


  • Beckford's TowerFolly or fact?

    The unlikely debt capital of Britain


  • European starlingBird-brained

    How 60 starlings multiplied into a nightmare flock of 200 million


  • Observatory in Chile with sun in the backgroundStar struck

    Why tourists are flocking to Chile's observatories


  • Two people using sign language Signing out

    The decline of regional dialects for the deaf


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.