Protecting the family structure, no matter how unconventional, is one of the easiest and most cost efficient ways to proactively prevent crime, help strengthen the economy, and ease pressure on housing and social services. I believe that our family structures are priceless.
Whether it is mother or a father, an aunt or an uncle, a grandmother or grandfather, a brother or sister, or a cousin or a step-parent, these family relationships create an invisible structure of care and accountability that brings out the best in all us.
I know this because it happened to me in 2011, when I adopted my seven-year-old daughter Gabriela. This process of becoming a stepfather made me become a better man and take responsibility for her future. It also was a crucial part of me later becoming a father to my own two boys, now three and four years old.
Single-parent households can also be great family structures. My parents divorced when I was seven years old and I watched my mom do an incredible job raising three children on her own, taking us travelling around the world and ensuring we had the best education possible.
Unfortunately our government is doing nowhere near enough to help support family structures. It has been shown that the cost of family breakdown in the UK is about £50 billion per annum, as separated families are less effective at work, cost more in housing, and lead to increases in crime.
This is why as your next Mayor of London I promise to put Family First, and find innovative ways to:
I am confident that by promoting and supporting our families in London, we can significantly improve the economy, reduce crime, and create happier, more productive citizens.