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London mayor Sadiq Khan operating for re-election

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan. Photograph: File.
  • London Mayor Sadiq Khan is operating for a second time period.
  • The 50-year-old politician from the primary opposition Labour occasion is a agency favorite to be returned to Metropolis Corridor for a second stint.
  • “As long as Londoners continue to trust me to be their mayor, I´m currently in this job,” Khan informed AFP.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, operating for re-election Thursday, 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 occasion, a former human rights lawyer introduced up on a London public housing advanced, is a agency favorite to be returned to Metropolis Corridor for a second stint.

It would proceed a outstanding journey for the Pakistani immigrant bus driver´s son, who was 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 rare confrontation after Khan criticised Trump´s controversial journey ban on folks from sure Muslim nations.

The mayor allowed an notorious blimp of the president dressed as a child in a nappy to fly above protests in Parliament Sq. 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 usually combative Khan informed AFP as he campaigned forward of this week´s ballot.

Road fighter

Born in London in 1970 to folks who had not too long ago arrived from Pakistan, Khan was the fifth little one 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 happy with its range and loves a self-made success story.

“I never dreamed that someone like me could be elected as mayor of London,” he stated again in 2016, including he needed to offer each Londoner “the opportunities that our city gave to me and to my family”.

Khan nonetheless repeatedly remembers how his father drove one in all London´s well-known purple buses, and his mom was a seamstress. Certainly one of his brothers is a motor mechanic.

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

In school, he needed to check science and grow to be a dentist. However a instructor noticed his present for verbal sparring and directed him in the direction of legislation.

He gained a legislation diploma from the College of North London and began out as a trainee lawyer in 1994 on the Christian Fisher authorized agency, the place he was ultimately 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 in the USA 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, changing into the primary Muslim minister to attend Cupboard conferences.

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

As mayor, he vowed to give attention to offering reasonably priced properties for Londoners and freezing transport fares, however — like many in energy all over the world — has seen his agenda engulfed by the pandemic.

Khan has stated his precedence for a second time period can 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 might threaten the capital´s very important monetary sector.

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

Khan predicts Britain may 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 informed AFP.

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