Mr Stewart, formerly International Development Secretary, has pledged to stand down as Mayor after two years if elected unless violent crime is reduced. The former Tory politician has attracted widespread attention for his ‘come kip with me’ initiative, in which he asks Londoners to invite him to sleep on their sofas for the night to help him learn about the city.
In 2019 London experienced its highest number of murders in more than a decade.
Speaking to Express.co.uk Mr Stewart was sharply critical of Mr Khan’s record on crime.
He commented: “He has not got a grip on crime and safety which is what everything revolves around.
“If you’re a mother sending your child to school, if you’re somebody running a small business, it starts with safety.”
Mr Stewart has vowed to triple the number of neighbourhood police officers and special constables if elected Mayor.
He was also sharply critical of the current Mayor over ‘stop and search’, with Mr Khan having pledged to do “all in my power to further cut its use” ahead of his election in 2016.
Referring to Mr Khan he commented: “I think he’s wrong.
“You have to target your stop and search and that’s how you make London safer” (Image: GETTY)
“We need to bring these numbers down. Homicides are at the highest level for 11 years” (Image: GETTY)
“Sadiq Khan, one of the platforms when he ran to be mayor was against stop and search. That’s insane.
“Stop and search is a very powerful tool if it’s done right. The key is how you do it.
“We need to triple the number of uniformed police in the neighbourhoods.
“They have the relationships and the understanding to make sure they’re searching the right people in the right way.
“You have to target your stop and search and that’s how you make London safer.”
Should Mr Stewart be elected he has pledged to stand down after two years unless he succeeds in reducing violent crime across London.
He made a similar vow as Prisons Minister in 2018, promising to step down after a year unless violence fell thought he was promoted to International Development Secretary before the deadline was reached.
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Rory Stewart served as a minister under Theresa May and Boris Johnson (Image: GETTY)
Asked how the reduction in violent crime over two years would be measured Mr Stewart suggested London street crime figures from the National Statistics Office as well as the national crime survey.
He added: “I would agree with everyone, police, journalists, what a fair measure is.
“What I did on prisons where I said I’d resign if there wasn’t a fall in violence,