Sadiq Khan: London’s feisty mayor wins second term

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who gained re-election Saturday, has risen from humble roots to spar with prime ministers and presidents since taking cost of the British capital 5 years in the past.

The 50-year-old politician from the primary opposition Labour get together, a former human rights lawyer introduced up on a London public housing complicated, gained a second stint at City Hall with victory over Conservative rival Shaun Bailey.

This continues a outstanding journey for the Pakistani immigrant bus driver’s son, who turned the primary Muslim mayor of a Western capital when initially elected in 2016.

He has made a reputation for himself as a vocal critic of Brexit and successive Conservative prime ministers, together with his mayoral predecessor Boris Johnson, in addition to for a feud with former US President Donald Trump.

The pair turned embroiled in a unprecedented confrontation, after Khan criticised Trump’s controversial journey ban on individuals from sure Muslim international locations.

In a collection of weird assaults, Trump accused Khan of doing a “very bad job on terrorism” and known as him a “stone-cold loser” and a “national disgrace”.

The mayor in flip allowed an notorious blimp of Trump dressed as a child in a nappy to fly above protests in Parliament Square throughout his 2018 go to to Britain.

“He once called me a stone-cold loser. Only one of us is a loser, and it’s not me,” a sometimes combative Khan advised AFP as he campaigned forward of Thursday’s ballot.

Street fighter

Born in London in 1970 to folks who had lately arrived from Pakistan, Khan was the fifth youngster out of seven brothers and one sister.

He grew up in public housing in Tooting, an ethnically combined residential space in south London, and slept in a bunkbed till he was 24.

His modest background performs nicely in a metropolis that’s pleased with its variety and loves a self-made success story.

In his victory speech on Saturday, Khan described himself as “a Londoner through and through”.

“I grew up on a council estate, a working class boy, a child of immigrants, but I’m now the Mayor of London,” he mentioned.

Khan nonetheless recurrently recollects how his father drove considered one of London’s well-known crimson buses, and his mom was a seamstress. One of his brothers is a motor mechanic.

He is a useful boxer, having learnt the game to defend himself within the streets in opposition to those that hurled racist abuse at him, and two of his brothers are boxing coaches. He additionally ran the London Marathon in 2014.

At college, he needed to check science and turn out to be a dentist. But a instructor noticed his reward for verbal sparring and directed him in the direction of legislation.

He gained a legislation diploma from the University of
North London and began out as a trainee lawyer in 1994 on the
Christian Fisher authorized agency, the place he was finally made a associate.

He specialised in human rights and spent three years chairing the civil liberties marketing campaign group Liberty.

He represented Louis Farrakhan, chief of the Nation of Islam motion, and Babar Ahmad, a mosque acquaintance who was jailed within the United States after admitting to offering assist to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

Muslim PM?

Khan joined Labour aged 15 when Conservative prime minister Margaret Thatcher was in her pomp.

He turned an area councillor for Tooting within the Conservative-dominated Wandsworth native borough in 1994, and its member of parliament in 2005.

He nonetheless lives within the space together with his lawyer spouse Saadiya and their two teenage daughters.

Then prime minister Gordon Brown made him the communities minister in 2008 and he later served as transport minister, turning into the primary Muslim minister to attend Cabinet conferences.

In parliament, he voted for homosexual marriage — which earned him dying threats.

As mayor, he vowed to deal with offering inexpensive houses for Londoners and freezing transport fares, however — like many in energy around the globe — noticed his agenda engulfed by the pandemic.

Khan has mentioned his precedence for a second term will probably be “jobs, jobs, jobs” as he bids to maintain London on its perch as a prime world metropolis whereas tackling the disaster and the fallout from Brexit, which may threaten the capital’s important monetary sector.

He is London’s third mayor after Labour’s Ken Livingstone (2000-2008) and Johnson (2008-2016), with widespread hypothesis he may attempt to observe in his predecessor’s footsteps to Downing Street.

Khan predicts Britain can have a Muslim prime minister “in the not-too-distant future” however insists it won’t be him.

“As long as Londoners continue to trust me to be their mayor, I’m currently in this job,” he advised AFP.

Follow SAMAA English on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.  

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.