Labour selects son of a Pakistani bus driver to stand for London mayor

By AFP
Published: September 11, 2015
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Sadiq Khan is of Pakistani descent and is MP for Tooting in south London. PHOTO:  TWITTER @SadiqKhan

Sadiq Khan is of Pakistani descent and is MP for Tooting in south London. PHOTO: TWITTER @SadiqKhan

LONDON: London could get its first Muslim mayor after the main opposition Labour party selected Sadiq Khan, a bus driver’s son and former government minister, as its candidate Friday.

Khan, a former human rights lawyer, will stand in elections being held next May to decide who should follow Conservative Boris Johnson, one of Britain’s best-known politicians, into City Hall.

While the mayor of London has fewer powers than in comparable world cities such as New York, it is a high-profile job which usually attracts ambitious figures.

Read: Can the son of a Pakistani bus driver be the future mayor of London?

Khan, 44, said he wanted to iron out inequalities in a city home to some of the world’s richest people, as well as some of Britain’s poorest.

“Our burning ambition must be to ensure that all Londoners have the same opportunities,” he told a press conference after being nominated.

“London must once again become a city in which everyone can fulfil their potential.”

Khan, who is of Pakistani descent and is MP for Tooting in south London, vowed to build more affordable housing and freeze transport fares while still investing in infrastructure projects.

He was one of the MPs to nominate veteran left-winger Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership — a race Corbyn is expected to win Saturday. Khan reportedly did not actually vote for Corbyn.

Read: London mayor, wife wish to visit Pakistan soon

Johnson, known for his shock of blonde hair and for introducing the “Boris Bikes” rent-a-cycle scheme in the British capital, will have served two terms as mayor by next year.

He was elected as an MP in the House of Commons in May and is tipped as a possible future Conservative leader.

Labour’s last London mayor was Ken Livingstone, a socialist who was in office between 2000 and 2008.

While Khan has already been nominated by his party, another Muslim aspirant candidate for the post of London’s Mayor is still waiting for his party’s approval.

Syed Kamall, who is also a London-born second generation immigrants and son of a bus driver, is aspiring to contest for the mayor’s post from Conservative Party’s platform.

However, Kamall is behind in the Conservative primary polls, trailing MP and former journalist Zac Goldsmith.

Kamall, 48, used to work as a consultant and systems analyst before joining politics. He is currently leading the European Conservatives and Reformists, the third-largest group in the European Parliament in Brussels. He also leads the negotiations between the British and EU government.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Aviator
    Sep 11, 2015 - 9:13PM

    Excellent news! Khan is an experienced political, having been a shadow minitister for infrastructure and law. If he becomes mayor I am sure he will use his experience to sort out the housing crisis in London and continue to bring out the best in London, as his predecessor Ken Livingston did. And off course, he will be a positive role model for British Pakistanis and Muslims, showing us that there are no limits as to what they can achieve in British society.Recommend

  • Malik
    Sep 11, 2015 - 10:04PM

    He is a londoner, not a Pakistani.Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Sep 11, 2015 - 11:59PM

    Will Pakistanis ever elect such people instead of professional so called politiciansRecommend

  • Dost Muhammad Baloch.
    Sep 12, 2015 - 7:29AM

    A welcome news. A tribute to the fairness of the British society, so tolerant and meritorious. This selection also in its small way rebuts the negative propaganda against the Muslim community being less reliable as European citizens.Recommend

  • Area51
    Sep 12, 2015 - 7:31AM

    Hes of Pakistani origin. Pakistanis can be proud, Same as when Amir Khan won a silver medal for GB or 2 world championships. Its good to see Pakistani diaspora doing well. Ultimately his origin is and will always be Pakistan. That is reality.

    Today AK is building a gym in Pak…

    In the same way the Kenyans were celebrating when Obama won, and Obama himself strongly acknowledges his connection to Kenya.

    Sadiq Khan has only just been nominated to be the Lab party mayoral candidate. IMO he will be the MOL come next year. Recommend

  • Syed Masroor Hussain Shah
    Sep 13, 2015 - 7:22AM

    You made us proud!Recommend

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