Mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith says only he can protect Richmond’s green spaces despite his Labour rival Sadiq Khan branding him a “liar”.
Mr Goldsmith pledged to protect the Green Belt from development and said he would “stand up for London’s green spaces” in his environment manifesto, launched last week.
He said his rival Mr Khan and the leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn would put the borough’s green spaces “at risk”.
He said: “I’ll stand up for London’s green spaces so that by the end of my term London’s priceless network of green space will have been extended rather than diminished.
Zac Goldsmith says he will extend London's network of green spaces if elected
“I know as well as anyone how important Richmond’s green spaces are to residents and it is vital that we protect this.
“Our living environment is too important to be put at risk by Khan and Corbyn in City Hall, experimenting with our green spaces.”
Sadiq Khan's bizarre outburst during a radio hustings on Tuesday morning
But Mr Khan branded the Richmond Park MP’s claims “lies” and said he would go further than the current Mayor Boris Johnson to protect urban green spaces.
He said: “Zac Goldsmith knows full well that I have pledged to protect green spaces in London – voters will not be fooled by his lies.
“I will go further than the current Mayor in strengthening protections for our urban green spaces within the London Plan.
“I will also protect wildlife and biodiversity by creating green corridors through the city.”
Zac Goldsmith claims the "Khan/Corbyn experiment" will put the environment at risk
Mr Goldsmith said he wants London to become the “greenest city on earth” and pledged to help tackle fly-tipping by giving councils powers to issue on-the-spot fines.
He said: “I will work with the Government to secure on-the-spot fining powers for local authorities, so fewer fly-tippers are let off the hook in Richmond.
“Councils can only charge on-the-spot fines currently for littering but not for larger items, including furniture and electrical goods.”
Some 2,903 incidents were recorded in Richmond during 2014-15, according to City Hall figures, with local authorities spending £25m each year to clear up, while recovering just £138,000 from offenders.
Earlier today, Mr Goldsmith’s bid to succeed Boris Johnson as Mayor was endorsed by former Pakistan cricket captain Imran Khan, his sister Jemima Goldsmith’s ex-husband.
Zac Goldsmith is running for mayor of London. Have known him for 20 yrs. He is an honourable man with strong convictions & compassion. 1/2— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 23, 2016
2/2 Zac is a man of integrity with a commitment to justice. He has the leadership capabilities to make a great mayor pic.twitter.com/WkKW7FNKr2— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 23, 2016
He wrote on Twitter: “Zac Goldsmith is running for mayor of London. Have known him for 20 yrs. He is an honourable man with strong convictions & compassion.
“Zac is a man of integrity with a commitment to justice. He has the leadership capabilities to make a great mayor”.