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Montevideo, September 19th 2018 - 16:56 UTC

London has its first Muslim mayor: ex human rights lawyer and son of a Pakistani bus driver

Saturday, May 7th 2016 - 08:13 UTC
Full article 16 comments
London pitted Khan, 45, who grew up in public housing in inner city London, against Conservative Zac Goldsmith, 41, the son of a billionaire financier. London pitted Khan, 45, who grew up in public housing in inner city London, against Conservative Zac Goldsmith, 41, the son of a billionaire financier.
“This election was not without controversy and I am so proud that London has today chosen hope over fear and unity over division,” Khan said “This election was not without controversy and I am so proud that London has today chosen hope over fear and unity over division,” Khan said
New York, whose mayor Bill de Blasio said on Twitter: “Sending congratulations to London's new mayor and fellow affordable housing advocate, @SadiqKhan.” New York, whose mayor Bill de Blasio said on Twitter: “Sending congratulations to London's new mayor and fellow affordable housing advocate, @SadiqKhan.”
Khan held his lead in opinion polls, despite accusations by Goldsmith that he has shared platforms with radical Muslim speakers and given “oxygen” to extremists. Khan held his lead in opinion polls, despite accusations by Goldsmith that he has shared platforms with radical Muslim speakers and given “oxygen” to extremists.
Khan replaces Conservative Boris Johnson, who ran the 8.6 million city for eight years. Johnson is seen as a contender to succeed Cameron as party leader and PM Khan replaces Conservative Boris Johnson, who ran the 8.6 million city for eight years. Johnson is seen as a contender to succeed Cameron as party leader and PM

Sadiq Khan, the son of a bus driver, became London's first Muslim mayor on Saturday, despite a Conservative challenger who attempted to link him to extremism and securing a much-needed win for his opposition Labour Party. Khan's victory, which also makes him the first Muslim to head a major Western capital, was confirmed shortly after midnight following a day of mixed news for Labour in elections elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

 Dealt a crushing blow in Scotland, where it came third behind the Scottish National Party and Britain's ruling Conservatives, Labour did better than expected in England, saving its left-leaning leader from an early challenge.

But the big prize was the London mayor vote, which pitted Khan, 45, who grew up in public housing in inner city London, against Conservative Zac Goldsmith, 41, the son of a billionaire financier.

“This election was not without controversy and I am so proud that London has today chosen hope over fear and unity over division,” Khan said in a short speech after the results.

“I hope that we will never be offered such a stark choice again. Fear does not make us safer, it only makes us weaker and the politics of fear is simply not welcome in our city”. Plaudits for Khan flooded in from as far afield as New York, whose mayor Bill de Blasio said on Twitter: “Sending congratulations to London's new mayor and fellow affordable housing advocate, @SadiqKhan.”

Khan's 13.6 percentage points margin of victory over Goldsmith was the widest in a London mayoral election in 16 years, showing that a bitter campaign marred by accusations that Khan had links to extremists and charges of anti-Semitism within Labour ranks had failed to deter his voters.

The Labour lawmaker replaces Conservative Boris Johnson, who ran the city of 8.6 million people for eight years. A top campaigner for Britain to leave the EU, Johnson is seen as a contender to succeed David Cameron as party leader and prime minister.

The Conservatives were keen to keep hold of the post, which does not run the City of London financial district but has influence over government in lobbying for the capital. The mayor is responsible for areas such as policing, transport, housing and the environment.

Khan, looking exhausted after a much delayed result, made an emotional speech referencing his Pakistani father, who he said would have been “proud that the city he chose to call his home, has now chosen one of his children to be the mayor.”

Khan held his lead in the opinion polls, despite accusations by Goldsmith that he has shared platforms with radical Muslim speakers and given “oxygen” to extremists.

Khan says he has fought extremism all his life and that he regrets sharing a stage with speakers who held “abhorrent” views. The Labour Party accused Goldsmith and the ruling Conservative Party of smearing Khan.

Khan, a former human rights lawyer, also distanced himself from the newly elected Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, after a row over anti-Semitism.

Top Comments

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  • Skip

    What was the religion of the last mayor?

    May 07th, 2016 - 10:38 am 0
  • Brasileiro

    It must be funny to see the Saxons from Londinium praying with their heads down toward Mecca.

    hahaha

    May 07th, 2016 - 11:06 am 0
  • Anbar

    Plenty ahve been doing that for years Basileiro - its called “Multiculturism”.

    YOu may not be entirely familiar with the concept as you are the sons and daughters of illegally squatting southern european rapists and murders... refusing to give the lands back to their rightful owners... and forcing them into praying to a big beardy man who lives in the clouds and has had his best and filthy rich fiend in a luxury compound in Italy for a couple of millennia whilst millions died for him.

    Hows that for Irony eh?

    May 07th, 2016 - 11:39 am 0
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