May 30, 2024

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Sadiq Khan has been re-elected for a historic third term as Mayor of London

Sadiq Khan has been re-elected for a historic third term as Mayor of London

It is the first time a mayor has held three commissions in a British capital.

Labour’s Sadiq Khan was re-elected mayor of London on Saturday, May 4, becoming the British capital’s third-term prime minister, several British media reported after the vote was counted.

At 53, Conservative candidate Susan Hall, the son of Pakistani immigrants, has two more mandates than her predecessor and former prime minister, Boris Johnson.

Opposed to Brexit

The 53-year-old elected official, the son of a bus driver, won a London town hall for the first time in 2016. He later became the first Muslim to lead a Western capital.

During his first term, he fought hard against Brexit. This time, he promised a “fair, safe, green city for all”.

He wants to expand the free midday program for government school children. Having grown up in social housing, he is determined to ensure 40,000 new social homes are built. He has pledged to take action to ensure London is homeless by 2030.

With salt-and-pepper hair and a petite height of 1m65, this man is not considered very attractive. This did not prevent him from becoming the bat noir of the conservative press and the “Tories” who have been in power in the United Kingdom since 2010.

They attack the defense relentlessly. They blame him for the rise in stabbings, which Sadiq Khan says for his part has led to cuts in police numbers due to conservative governments’ austerity policies.

Racist attacks

Sadiq Khan’s opponents accuse him of extending a tax on polluting vehicles introduced by Boris Johnson in 2015 to London last year. Conservatives seized the opportunity to accuse Sadiq Khan of showing little concern for Londoners suffering from a cost-of-living crisis.

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Attacks against him sometimes get out of hand. Former Tory deputy prime minister Lee Anderson said in February that Sadiq Khan had been “controlled” by Islamists. “He gave our capital to his friends,” said the MP, who is affiliated with the far-right Reform UK Party.

A few years ago, in 2019, former US President Donald Trump targeted her during a wave of jihadist attacks in London, calling her a “national disgrace” and a “total loser”. “Only one of us has failed, and that is not me,” replied Sadiq Khan.

London, a global city where 46% of residents identify as Asian, black, mixed or “other”, embodies one of the success stories of pride in its diversity. He never misses an opportunity to reflect on his humble origins, and is quick to talk about how he observes the Ramadan fast, abstains from alcohol, and tries to say his prayers every day.

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