Maverick clean air candidate who ran for Mayor of London is back in politics

One of the most enthusiastic political advocates of clean air is once again throwing his hat into the electoral ring by announcing that he will stand in both the forthcoming Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election and the Mid Bedfordshire by-election. 

Prince Ankit Love, Emperor of India* may not be the best known political figure, but he’s certainly a persistent one. Representing the One Love Party, he was the youngest candidate in the 2016 London Mayoral election, where his policies focussed on London’s housing crisis and air pollution.

Prince Ankit Love appearing on London Live during the London Mayoral elections

Some way ahead of his time, he wanted an outright ban on all fossil fuel vehicles in London and talked of introducing cycle superhighways.

Once elected, he would also have cancelled the Silvertown tunnel, revived the Thames’ eel population and banned adverts for cars in the same way as those for cigarettes. At one point, the party called for a war-memorial style monument by which to remember the victims of air pollution.

However, despite having more than twice the number of Facebook followers as rivals Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith, he finished last with 0.2% of the first preference votes.

Magnificently undeterred, he reappeared to contest the Tooting by-election in which four candidates finished below him. Two more by-elections quickly followed until, in 2017, the One Love Party was deregistered.

But here he is again, fighting as an independent, battling the SNP and the Conservatives for seats made available by the removal of Margaret Ferrier and the resignation of Nadine Dorries.

Speaking to the Bedford Independent, he makes it clear that his passion for clean air has not abated over the last six years: ‘air pollution is a post-industrial, massive threat to our civilization. Thirty thousand people die each year in the UK from air pollution.

‘People say “oh it costs too much to change the fossil fuel system here”, but I completely disagree. If you look at the data from places like Stanford etc on the financial implications of this, it’s a five trillion cost in healthcare issues, early deaths, loss of productivity.

‘They’ve been able to value global economies losing five trillion a year, so if with Covid you could lock the whole world for far fewer deaths…why is civilization not able to address this?

‘You don’t need to invent a vaccine, technology already exists to bring everyone to fossil fuel zero. We need to evolve a little bit more conceptually as a civilization and address this.’

Prince Ankit is standing as a ‘candidate with no label’ which, he explains, is conceptually different from being an independent: ‘it has a different meaning. No label is somebody who’s more open-minded as in that they can see value in other parties too. They’re not fully independent of everybody where they could be inclined to work with someone at the right opportunity.’

The Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election is scheduled to take place on October 5th, the Mid Bedfordshire by-election on October 19th.

And while we wait for those to come around, we can sit back and enjoy some of his other work…

*not: Prince Ankit, Love Emperor of India as ITV described him. That comma is important.



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