London's new Muslim mayor hails 'unity over division'

2016-05-07 12:02
London Mayor Sadiq Khan. (Frank Augstein, AP)

London Mayor Sadiq Khan. (Frank Augstein, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London – London's new mayor Sadiq Khan thanked voters for choosing "unity over division" as he was elected on Saturday, becoming the first Muslim leader of a major Western capital.

In a second round run-off, the son of Pakistani immigrants beat Conservative multimillionaire Zac Goldsmith with 57%, or 1.3 million votes, giving him the largest personal mandate of any British politician.

Khan swept to victory despite repeated accusations from his rivals, including Prime Minister David Cameron, that he sympathised with Islamic extremists – which he denies.

"This election was not without controversy and I am so proud that London has today chosen hope over fear and unity over division," the 45-year-old said in his acceptance speech, to cheers from supporters.

"I hope that we will never be offered such a stark choice again. Fear doesn't make us safer, it only makes us weaker, and the politics of fear is simply not welcome in our city."

As he spoke, the mayoral candidate for the far-right Britain First party, Paul Golding, turned his back.

The victory offered some cheer for Labour after setbacks elsewhere following regional elections across Britain on Thursday, as a row over anti-Semitism in the party that has damaged leader Jeremy Corbyn continued to rage.

"Congratulations Sadiq Khan. Can't wait to work with you to create a London that is fair for all!" Corbyn tweeted.

Khan replaces the charismatic Boris Johnson and ends the Conservatives' eight-year hold on the London mayoralty, a position that has responsibility for transport, housing, policing and promoting economic development.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was among the first to tweet his congratulations to "fellow affordable housing advocate, @SadiqKhan. Look forward to working together!"

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo added on Twitter that Khan's "humanity, progressivism will benefit Londoners."

The victory was also hailed in Tooting, a multi-ethnic area of south London where Khan lives and where he grew up in social housing, before becoming first a human rights lawyer and then a member of parliament.

"Sadiq Khan will have a unifying factor because he is Muslim, an immigrant, he is from [the] working class, so he understands the working class people and he can associate with them," said Shahzad Saddiqui, a local businessman.

Read more on:    sadiq khan  |  uk

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.