Sadiq Khan chosen as Labour candidate for London mayor

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan has been chosen as Labour’s candidate for the 2016 London mayoral contest.

The Tooting MP said he was “overwhelmed” and “deeply honoured” after the results were announced.

Mr Khan won 48,152 votes, a 58.9% share, in the fifth round of voting after four other candidates had been eliminated.

Ex-minister Tessa Jowell, regarded as the frontrunner going into the contest, came second with 41.1% of the vote. A total of 87,954 votes were cast.

Reacting to his win Khan said: “I love this city. It’s given me and my family huge opportunities. My dad was a bus-driver and my mum sewed clothes to help support our family.

“We lived on a council estate in south London, my mum, my dad, my brothers and my sister. City Hall might have been a few stops up the Northern Line, but to a young Londoner like me it seemed a million miles away. To many young Londoners today, it still feels a million miles away.

“I never dreamed that I would be standing here as your candidate for mayor and I’m only here because of the opportunities London gave me and my family – a safe and affordable council home, so my parents could save for a home of their own; a fantastic state school education for me and my brothers and sister; university education based on the grades we had rather than our means.”

It’s thought that the surge in new members to the party since the general election benefited Khan, who was endorsed by Ken Livingstone, the former London mayor.

Khan also beat David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, Diane Abbott, the leftwing MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, Christian Wolmar, the transport writer and activist, and Gareth Thomas, MP for Harrow West, who wanted to devolve more economic powers to London.

The Conservatives have yet to choose their candidate, but it is expected to be Zac Goldsmith, the wealthy environmentalist and MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston.

Central issues in the election next spring will be airport expansion in the south-east, housing and the powers of the mayor, but the personalities of the candidates will also play a critical role.

In previous London mayoral elections, Labour got the vote in inner London but there was strong Conservative support in the suburbs.

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