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Sister weeklies host online hustings in London mayoral battle

Seven candidates in the upcoming London mayoral election took part in an online-only hustings hosted by 11 newspaper websites.

The seven leading contenders to be the next Mayor of London – including the likes of Sadiq Khan, Zac Goldsmith and George Galloway – answered questions in a one hour session hosted by Archant London.

The event was hosted on the sites of the Barking and Dagenham Post, Brent & Kilburn Times, Docklands & East London Advertiser, Hackney Gazette, Hampstead & Highgate Express, Ilford Recorder, Islington Gazette, London24, Newham Recorder, Romford Recorder and Tottenham Journal.

Questions were asked on housing problems, crime, airport expansion and whether they had ever used the Emirates cable car across the River Thames.

Labour candidate Sadiq Khan takes part in the hustings

Labour candidate Sadiq Khan takes part in the hustings

Matt Withers, Archant executive editor (digital) for London, who organised and moderated the hustings, said: “Finding a date and time which was suitable for all seven main candidates, including two leading MPs, required negotiations which made David Cameron’s recent efforts in Brussels look like small beer. And that was before we’d even touched on the rules for the event.

“But once we’d got everyone signed up and agreed, the enthusiasm with which both candidates and readers took to it was fantastic and made all the effort worthwhile.

“We were inundated with questions days before the event began and it continued throughout the event. Exhausting as it was, it’s exactly the sort of thing we think Archant should be doing for our readers.”

The event was held on 7 March, with all titles involved having published follow-up stories online and in print since it took place.