London re-elects Sadiq Khan as Mayor

Photo: EPA Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan was re-elected London Mayor as a candidate of British opposition Labour Party. Khan is the first Muslim mayor of major British city, Reuters reported. However Khan’s victory was not enough to raise spirits of the opposition as the ruling conservatives of PM Boris Johnson scored overall victory at the local elections. In London Khan won to Shaun Baley by 55.2% to 44.8% in a result which had been widely predicted, although his winning margin was smaller than his victory five years ago.

"I am deeply humbled by the trust Londoners have placed in me to continue leading the greatest city on earth," Khan said, who focused his campaign on creating jobs and boosting London's tourism economy. "I promise to strain every sinew to help build a better and brighter future for London after the dark days of the pandemic." Khan, a former member of parliament who replaced Johnson as leader of the British capital with a population of almost nine million people, has faced criticism over rising violent crime in the capital, particularly stabbings involving teenagers. His record on the issue and other security issues led to a series of angry Twitter spats with former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Khan's success comes after a bruising set of results for Labour in local elections in its former heartlands in central and northern England - known as the party's "Red Wall" - which followed a disastrous performance in the 2019 national vote. While Johnson has enjoyed wide success elsewhere in England, the opposition party has become increasingly dominant in the British capital.

Analysts attribute this to the city's younger, more ethnically-diverse and more pro-European Union population, which unlike most of England, overwhelmingly opposed Brexit.

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