Susan Hall
Hall in 2023
Member of the London Assembly
Assumed office
20 June 2017
Preceded byKemi Badenoch
Leader of the Conservative Group
on the London Assembly
In office
17 December 2019 – 2 May 2023
Preceded byGareth Bacon
Succeeded byNeil Garratt
Leader of Harrow London Borough Council
In office
16 September 2013 – 22 May 2014
Preceded byThaya Idaikkadar
Succeeded byDavid Perry
Leader of the Conservative Group on Harrow London Borough Council
In office
6 May 2010 – 31 August 2017
DeputyBarry Macleod-Cullinane
Preceded byDavid Ashton
Succeeded byPaul Osborn
Councillor for Hatch End Ward
on Harrow London Borough Council
Assumed office
4 May 2006
Preceded byMary John
Succeeded byin office
Personal details
Born
Susan Mary Cole

1955 (age 68–69)
Willesden, Middlesex, England
Political partyConservative
Spouse
Gerald Peter Hall
(m. 1977, divorced)
Children2
EducationRoxeth Manor Secondary Modern School
WebsiteSusan Hall for Mayor of London

Susan Mary Hall (née Cole; born 1955) is a British politician who has served as a Member of the London Assembly since 2017 and a councillor on Harrow London Borough Council since 2006. She was leader of the London Conservatives on the London Assembly from December 2019 until May 2023.

Hall is the Conservative Party candidate for the 2024 London mayoral election.

Family and business career

Susan Mary Cole was born in March 1955 at Willesden, Middlesex (since 1965 in Greater London). She is the elder daughter of Benjamin Cole (1912–72),[1] of Irish antecedents, and Mary née Palmer (1926–99). In her late teens she gained practical work experience as a car mechanic in a garage owned by her father, where she learnt how to 'strip down an engine'.[2][3]

In 1977 she married Gerald Peter Hall, a hairdresser, with whom she has two children; they are now divorced. The couple established a beauty salon in Harrow, which grew to employ over 20 people before closing.[3] Her daughter, Louise Staite,[4] stood as the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Oxford East at the 2019 general election.[5]

Political career

Harrow London Borough Council

Hall was elected as a councillor for Hatch End Ward on Harrow London Borough Council in the 2006 election, after previously standing unsuccessfully for Headstone South in 2002.[6][7] She has been re-elected as a councillor at subsequent elections in 2010, 2014, 2018 and 2022.

In 2007, she was appointed to Harrow Council's cabinet, responsible for the environment and community safety.

Hall became deputy leader of the Conservative group on Harrow Council in 2008. She was then elected in 2010 as Leader of the group, becoming Leader of the Opposition. She was appointed to the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority as a Borough nominee in June 2010.[8]

She took over as leader of Harrow's hung council in September 2013.[9][10] As council leader, Hall commissioned thermal imaging cameras to stop illegal 'beds in sheds' developments and identify five cannabis farms.[11] Hall returned to Opposition leader after the May 2014 election.[12][13]

In 2014, she tweeted that TOWIE star Gemma Collins, in a short appearance on ITV's I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here, was fat and ghastly and a "stupid fat blonde woman".[14] Hall subsequently told ITV News "I meant it and would say it to her face" and said she was a victim of a campaign by the Fire Brigades Union.[15]

London Assembly

Hall became a Member of the London Assembly in June 2017, replacing Kemi Badenoch AM who stood down upon being elected as MP for Saffron Walden.[16][17] Hall was the fourth London-wide candidate on the Conservative Party list at the 2016 London Assembly election.[18][19]

Hall was elected deputy leader of the London Conservatives in 2018,[20] before succeeding Gareth Bacon as Leader of the Conservatives on the London Assembly,[21] after he was elected as MP for Orpington in the December 2019 general election.

In March 2020, regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in London, Hall wrote to Mayor Sadiq Khan, asking him to "call in the police" to "enforce the coronavirus lockdown" in order to protect National Health Service workers.[22]

Ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, Hall tweeted "Come on Donald Trump - make sure you win and wipe the smile off this man's face", referring to Sadiq Khan, who is a vocal critic of Trump.[23] Following the storming of the United States Capitol by Trump's supporters in January 2021, Hall compared the cause of the riot with remaining opposition to Brexit in the UK.[24]

Re-elected in the 2021 London Assembly election,[25] Hall stood down as leader of the London Conservatives in May 2023.[26]

London mayoral candidacy

Hall was selected, on 19 July 2023, as the Conservative Party candidate for the 2024 London mayoral election.[27][28][29]

To tackle crime, she contests that London would be "Safer with Susan"[30] and would invest £200 million in the Metropolitan Police, funded by reducing staff costs at Transport for London to establish police units specialising in attending to burglaries, robberies and thefts.[31][32]

Hall pledges to reverse the 2023 ULEZ outer expansion and in its place set up a £50 million fund to "tackle air pollution hotspots."[33] She would also facilitate sending "cars for Ukraine",[34] particularly ULEZ non-compliant 4x4s[35] in support of the Ukraine war effort.[36]

On 19 July 2023 the Conservative Party deputy chairman Nickie Aiken MP wrote to the Evening Standard's editor Dylan Jones accusing the paper of "misogyny" with their choice of photo of Hall for their front page, describing it as "a clear mockery."[37]

In August 2023, Dawn Butler and nine other Labour MPs wrote to Conservative Party chairman Greg Hands criticising Hall's comments that the Notting Hill Carnival was "dangerous" and put local residents through "hell."[38] The letter accused Hall of implying that the Black community "has a propensity towards violence and disorder."[38] Hall's team said that the allegations were "desperate smears and a complete mischaracterisation" of her comments.[39][40]

In September 2023, Hall was reported to have liked tweets that praised Enoch Powell and described London's Mayor Sadiq Khan as "our nipple height mayor of Londonistan". Hall's spokesman said "Susan engages with many people on Twitter without endorsing their views".[41]

In October 2023, Hall received criticism from political opponents and Jewish groups for saying "I know how frightened some of the [Jewish] community is because of the divisive attitude of Sadiq Khan".[42] Nusrat Ghani, HM Minister of State for Industry, criticised Hall for using the "language of fear and demeaning our political opponents", to which Hall replied her comments were "misinterpreted".[43]

Hall advocates the restoration of tax-free shopping for tourists to help get London working. Writing to HM Chancellor of the Exchequer, she pointed out research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research which found that were refund restored then for every £1 refunded in sales tax to foreign tourists and the Exchequer would gain £1.56 in other taxes due to the “dynamic economic effects” of tourist expenditure. This would amount “to an increase in GDP of £10.7bn in 2023” and help support more than 200,000 jobs. Hall's letter continued:

“The additional revenues generated would outweigh the losses associated with sales tax refunds by £2.3 billion in 2023.
“Not only is the policy holding back growth, but it is reducing the tax revenues for the Government.
“Every country in the EU offers tax-free shopping, while we don’t. Effectively, we have suddenly started charging 20 per cent more than other countries do for the same goods. We should be supporting our capital, ensuring it can compete and continue to be a first-tier destination for tourists.
“Whilst retail stores are affected directly, there has been a significant impact on hotels, hospitality venues and the cultural sector, many of which are still fighting for survival as a result of the pandemic.
“Many businesses in these sectors are heavily reliant on overseas tourists, particularly in London, but with the removal of tax-free shopping, many visitors are choosing our international competitors.
“It is clear that the removal of tax-free shopping is not in the best interest for London and the rest of the UK. I understand that there are pressures on the public finances at the present time. But the evidence shows that reinstating tax-free shopping would be a win for both business and the taxpayer.”[44]

Political positions

Harry Phibbs, writing in the Sunday Telegraph in September 2023, described Hall as an "authentic, unapologetic Conservative" and that "as Leader of Harrow Council, she froze council tax and balanced the budget after Labour left a £6 million deficit".[45][46]

Hall advocates for community safety and campaigns for crime prevention, calling for an increase in police funding to tackle knife crime.[47] As a candidate for London Mayor, Hall pledged to invest £200 million into the Metropolitan Police.[31][32] Claiming in November 2023 her wallet was pickpocketed on the London Underground, she asserted crime was "completely out of control" in London,[48] only to be contradicted by a public-spirited fellow passenger who returned it saying that fortunately Hall had dropped her wallet, rather than it being stolen.[49]

Hall is committed to reversing the 2023 ULEZ outer expansion and pledged to build more affordable homes.[50][51]

Hall is neoliberal on economic issues, and has been described as a populist.[52]

In her London Mayoral campaign, Hall said she would reduce costs at Transport for London by reforming bonuses, pension arrangements and the provision of nominee passes, which enable Londoners who live with TfL staff to travel free. Sadiq Khan has defended these, arguing that no net savings would be made by scrapping them.[53]

In August 2023, Hall tweeted in support of Restore Trust, a political advocacy group which seeks to change policies of the National Trust.[54]

Electoral history

2021 London Assembly election

Main article: 2021 London Assembly election

2016 London Assembly election

Main article: 2016 London Assembly election

See also

References

  1. ^ www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
  2. ^ Franks, Josephine (14 June 2023). "Who is Susan Hall? The hair salon owner and London mayor hopeful who says Sadiq Khan 'fears her most'". Sky News. Archived from the original on 15 June 2023. Retrieved 15 June 2023.
  3. ^ a b Vickers, Noah (19 July 2023). "Who is Susan Hall? London mayoral hopeful's policies explained". Evening Standard. Retrieved 19 July 2023.
  4. ^ www.oxfordmail.co.uk
  5. ^ Hazell, Will (19 July 2023). "Tory candidate for London Mayor Susan Hall: 'Only I can beat Sadiq Khan'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  6. ^ "Councillor Susan Hall". Harrow London Borough Council. Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  7. ^ "Election results for Headstone South: Borough Election - Thursday 2 May 2002". Harrow London Borough Council. Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  8. ^ "Statement of accounts 2017/2018" (PDF). London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority. Retrieved 20 July 2023.
  9. ^ "Tories get control of Harrow Council after Labour split". BBC News. 18 September 2013. Retrieved 15 September 2023.
  10. ^ Thain, Bruce (16 September 2013). "Council gets new leader". Harrow Times. Retrieved 15 September 2023.
  11. ^ Shammas, John (20 March 2014). "Gotcha! Council leader on a high after spy plane roots out drug farms as well as beds in sheds". My London. Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  12. ^ Shammas, John (27 May 2014). ""Justice has been done": Labour celebrate retaking power at Harrow Council". MyLondon. Retrieved 15 September 2023.
  13. ^ Proctor, Ian (10 June 2014). "Unveiled: Harrow Council's new power-wielding cabinet committee". MyLondon. Retrieved 15 September 2023.
  14. ^ Croft, Ethan (13 June 2023). "Tory who called Gemma Collins 'stupid fat blonde' could be new London Mayor". Evening Standard. Retrieved 19 July 2023.
  15. ^ Harris, Simon (19 November 2014). "Senior Conservative who called TOWIE star Gemma Collins fat and ghastly says, 'I meant it and would say it to her face'". ITV X. Retrieved 7 October 2023.
  16. ^ "New Assembly Member, Susan Hall, takes her place at City Hall". Greater London Authority. 20 June 2017. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  17. ^ Hoscik, Martin (8 May 2017). "Harrow Tory leader set to join London Assembly following General Election". MayorWatch. Retrieved 27 September 2020.
  18. ^ "London-wide Assembly Member candidates 2016". London Elects. 12 August 2016. Archived from the original on 12 August 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  19. ^ "Results 2016". London Elects. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  20. ^ "Susan Hall". Greater London Authority. Archived from the original on 19 July 2023. Retrieved 19 July 2023.
  21. ^ Mathewson, Jessie. "New London MPs will step down from City Hall roles in May". East London and West Essex Guardian Series. Retrieved 23 December 2019.
  22. ^ Boscia, Stefan (24 March 2020). "Coronavirus: Tube could shut amid overcrowding, union warns". CityAM. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  23. ^ Huskisson, Sophie (19 July 2023). "Tories go to war over unflattering photograph of London mayoral candidate". The Mirror. Retrieved 20 July 2023.
  24. ^ Walker, Peter (7 January 2021). "Tories urged to suspend politicians who likened US violence to anti-Brexit protests". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
  25. ^ "Election 2021: Full results for London Mayor and London Assembly". ITV News. 8 May 2021. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  26. ^ Vickers, Noah (2 May 2023). "Conservatives choose new City Hall leader". Evening Standard. Retrieved 20 July 2023.
  27. ^ Walker, Peter (19 July 2023). "Susan Hall chosen as Conservative candidate for London mayor". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 July 2023.
  28. ^ Williams, Grant (12 June 2023). "Harrow councillor shortlisted to be Conservative candidate for Mayor of London". MyLondon. Retrieved 19 July 2023.
  29. ^ Lydall, Ross (19 July 2023). "Susan Hall wins Tory race to face-off against Sadiq Khan for London mayoralty". Evening Standard. Retrieved 11 September 2023.
  30. ^ "Susan Hall: Who is the Tory London mayoral candidate taking on Sadiq Khan?". Sky News. Retrieved 7 November 2023.
  31. ^ a b Hall, Susan (10 June 2023). "Sadiq Khan has failed to lead the police – I have a plan to fit it". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 7 November 2023.
  32. ^ a b Hall, Susan. "Susan Hall AM on X: "I will invest £200 million in the Met Police, funded by cutting waste in City Hall and TfL. In Khan's London, the vulnerable fear the police and criminals don't. If I am your candidate, I will get him out of office and fix this injustice. #SaferWithSusan". X (formerly Twitter). Retrieved 8 November 2023.
  33. ^ Hazell, Will (1 July 2023). "Susan Hall pledges £50m clean air project if she becomes London mayor". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 7 November 2023.
  34. ^ www.bbc.co.uk
  35. ^ www.rac.co.uk
  36. ^ www.thetimes.co.uk
  37. ^ Huskisson, Sophie (19 July 2023). "Tories go to war over unflattering photograph of London mayoral candidate". The Mirror. Retrieved 20 July 2023.
  38. ^ a b Vickers, Noah (26 August 2023). "Tory mayor candidate views Black people with suspicion, Labour alleges". Evening Standard. Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  39. ^ Williams, Zoe (28 August 2023). "Hate London and all it stands for? You're not alone – but you're in terrible company". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 23 August 2023.
  40. ^ Mason, Rowena (22 August 2023). "Tory London mayor candidate criticised for 'offensive' Notting Hill carnival views". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  41. ^ Spirit, Lara (15 September 2023). "Susan Hall: Tory mayoral candidate liked tweet praising Enoch Powell". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 15 September 2023.
  42. ^ Salisbury, Josh; Burford, Rachael (3 October 2023). "Susan Hall: Tory mayoral candidate criticised for suggesting Jewish people 'frightened' by Sadiq Khan". Evening Standard. Retrieved 3 October 2023.
  43. ^ Burford, Rachael (4 October 2023). "Government minister criticises Tory Mayoral candidate Susan Hall over Jewish comments". Evening Standard. Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  44. ^ www.standard.co.uk
  45. ^ Phibbs, Harry (10 September 2023). "Susan Hall can win - but she can't do it alone". The Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 4 October 2023.
  46. ^ www.london.gov.uk
  47. ^ Walker, Amy (18 January 2019). "Violent crime rises by 43% in three years on London Underground". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 March 2020.
  48. ^ Heren, Kit (28 November 2023). "Tory London mayoral candidate Susan Hall rages against Sadiq Khan after 'pickpocketing ordeal on Tube'". LBC. Retrieved 30 November 2023.
  49. ^ Lydall, Ross (30 November 2023). "Good Samaritan: How I returned Tory mayoral candidate Susan Hall's lost wallet". Evening Standard. Retrieved 30 November 2023.
  50. ^ Heath, Allister (30 August 2023). "London's revolt against the Ulez scam is set to shatter politics as we know it". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 11 September 2023.
  51. ^ Hall, Susan (28 May 2023). "Sadiq Khan is a total failure – and I have a plan to replace him". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 20 November 2023.
  52. ^ O'Grady, Sean (19 July 2023). "Could this populist Brexiteer Trump fan really become mayor of London?". The Independent. Retrieved 15 September 2023.
  53. ^ Neicho, Joshua (14 April 2021). "Who is London Tory Susan Hall and why is she so cross with Sadiq Khan?". On London.
  54. ^ Mortimer, Josiah (30 August 2023). "Conservative London Mayoral Candidate Susan Hall Backs Fringe Right Wing 'Restore Trust' that Challenges Criticism of Empire". Byline Times. Retrieved 31 August 2023.