London mayoral polls: Moz Hossain confident of defeating Sadiq Khan
Hossain, who grew up in a village in Bangladesh, emphasises his status as a King’s Counsel (KC) and believes it gives him an advantage in the contest
Conservative Party London Mayoral Candidate Mozammel Hossain (Picture by Andrew Parsons / Parsons Media)
Moz Hossain, the Tory candidate for the London mayoral election, believes that his experience as a criminal barrister and his humble background is key to defeating Sadiq Khan.
Hossain, 48, grew up in a village in Bangladesh, where his parents were farmers. He recalls the smells of the village and the abundance of produce it offered.
Now living in Tower Hamlets, he jokes that it is easiest to find mangoes there, which he still loves.
One of his rivals, Dan Korski, recently dropped out of the race following allegations of groping, leaving Hossain as one of the two potential candidates for the Conservatives.
During a two-week voting period commencing on Tuesday (04), conservative members will be presented with a choice to make.
Hossain emphasises his status as a King’s Counsel (KC) and believes it gives him an advantage in the contest.
He plans to “litigate” the case against Khan, 52, highlighting his experience as a criminal barrister.
Khan has previously highlighted his rise from a south London council estate as a key aspect of his campaign.
Hossain hopes that his own background will nullify any advantage Khan has gained from his upbringing.
Hossain’s story begins with his parents’ marriage before their teenage years. His father’s village wanted to join their family with Hossain’s mother’s family, so they arranged the marriage when she was just 11 years old.
They went on to have eight children, with Hossain being the youngest.
The family lived in poverty but never went hungry thanks to intensive farming and the forest near their village that offered wild root vegetables.
Hossain said the major issue at hand was the absence of medical attention, leading to individuals succumbing to minor ailments.
At the age of 16, Hossain moved to Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, to attend school. It was there that he began to develop a sense of injustice, observing the police dismantling shelters used by women and children on the streets.
This led to his interest in becoming a lawyer. He later moved to the UK to study law at Liverpool University, where he became the first foreign student to be elected president of the student union. He then fell in love with London and decided to become a barrister.
Hossain has been practicing as a criminal barrister for over two decades, defending clients accused of various crimes.
He joined the Conservative Party in 2015 and became more involved in 2021 when he decided to run for mayor.
He became a King’s Counsel in 2019, a title he is proud of and believes will help him win votes.
One of Hossain’s main focuses is tackling criminal gangs in London. He expresses his concern, cautioning that London is not a safe city.
He believes that a dual approach is necessary, being tough on gang leaders while also providing support to vulnerable youngsters to prevent them from turning to crime.
Hossain has seen first-hand the effects of hopelessness on individuals and believes that mentorship programmes and opportunities for young people can make a significant difference.
In addition to addressing crime, Hossain has pledged to scrap the expansion of Khan’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (Ulez) and freeze the mayor’s portion of Londoners’ council tax bills to support struggling families.
He also plans to review low-traffic neighbourhood schemes (LTNs) and involve residents in decisions regarding their implementation.
Additionally, Hossain is committed to protecting greenbelt land and encouraging development on brownfield sites.
Although Hossain has been a member of the Conservative Party for eight years, he acknowledges that the party’s popularity in London is lower than Khan’s.
However, he believes that his diverse background and ability to connect with all communities in London will help him win over voters who currently support Khan.
Hossain views himself as the candidate who can defeat Khan and bring the necessary change to London.