London's ongoing affordable housing crisis and the issue of immigration to the capital city cannot be separated, according to Ukip's Mayoral candidate. Peter Whittle told IBTimes UK that "there are simply too many people chasing too few houses" and rising migration numbers to Britain meant that it was hard for developers to plan ahead.
"You can't really just talk about supply without talking about demand. You have got to know how many people you are planning for and at the moment we have absolutely no way of doing that," he said.
The comments come after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that net migration to the UK had hit a record high of 330,000 in the year to March and followed a report from UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index, which found that London house prices were the most overvalued across the world's major cities.
Whittle also promised to introduce a registry of brownfield sites across London in bid to incentivise developers to build on them if he succeeded Boris Johnson and entered City Hall in 2016. But the Ukip culture spokesman is up against stiff competition in shape of Labour's Sadiq Khan and Tory MP Zac Goldsmith.
The latest opinion poll from ICM, of more than 2,000 London voters between 16 and 24 September, put Labour on 40%, the Conservatives on 36%, the Greens on 7% and Ukip and the Liberal Democrats on 6% each.
However, Whittle claimed the electorate perceived his party to be more authentic than his rivals. "People really do know where we are coming from in Ukip and they do know that we believe what we say and we say what we mean – I don't think they feel that about the other candidates," the New Culture Forum founder said.
"We have to make sure that new people hear our message and I'm very, very optimistic about that. But we do have a very strong brand – to use that terrible word – and I think that is something that I will be offering that other candidates simply don't have."