Radio Sandwell News

Sadiq Khan wins Labour London mayoral selection

2015-09-11 19:45:01

Sadiq KhanSadiq Khan is chosen as the Labour mayoral candidate for London in 2016

Sadiq Khan has decisively won the contest to become Labour's candidate for the 2016 London mayoral election.

He 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 ahead of Diane Abbott in third place.

Mr Khan, the MP for Tooting, said he would seek to represent the whole of the city and make a "real difference".

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's The World at One, he said his top priority if elected would be tackle London's "housing crisis", ensuring "genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy".

Mr Khan said he would also focus on affordable public transport and confirmed he had changed his mind on the issue of a third runway at Heathrow Airport over air pollution fears, and would be campaigning against expansion.

A total of 87,884 legitimate votes were cast in the ballot, in which the other candidates were former ministers David Lammy and Gareth Thomas, veteran Labour MP Ms Abbott and transport expert Christian Wolmar.

Sadiq Khan

Sadiq KhanTessa Jowell and David Lammy congratulate Mr Khan on his victory

As he now seeks a mandate from five million Londoners, his personal and political journey will be scrutinised like never before.

Sadiq Khan has a back-story that may appeal to people who've never cast a vote in their lives.

He grew up on a south London housing estate, one of eight children, his father a bus driver. His children went to the same primary school as him. The Tooting constituency he represented since 2005 is where he's lived all his life.

In the second decade of the 21st Century some might argue the fact he is Muslim should pass unremarked. But his accession to City Hall would, for many, be a powerful statement of the city's diversity.

Some worry it may have the potential for division, but Sadiq Khan has so far proved himself an inclusive campaigning force.

Mr Thomas was first to be eliminated, with his second preferences reallocated, followed by Mr Wolmar, Mr Lammy and Ms Abbott.

A breakdown of the vote revealed Baroness Jowell had won the most votes from Labour Party members in the first round, but among registered supporters - who paid £3 to be entitled to vote - she was third behind Mr Khan and Ms Abbott.

Mr Khan was also top among affiliated union members.

'Winds of change'

Commentators reacted by saying Mr Khan's victory, allied to the strong showing of Ms Abbott, increased the likelihood of Jeremy Corbyn being elected party leader on Saturday.

BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith said he suspected even Mr Khan - who nominated Mr Corbyn to be Labour leader - would be surprised by scale of his victory, adding that the "winds of change are sweeping though Labour".

Mr Corbyn was among a series of senior party figures to congratulate Mr Khan saying, regardless of Saturday's result, he looked forward to working closely with him "as we seek to reconnect everywhere for a better kind of politics".

Mr Khan said he had been clear that while he had nominated Mr Corbyn, he would not be voting for him and had backed Andy Burnham in the leadership contest.

Mr Khan, who was shadow justice secretary under Ed Miliband's leadership, said that growing up on a council estate in South London, City Hall had seemed "a million miles away".

He later said he would stand down as MP for Tooting if he was elected Mayor.

The Conservatives have yet to choose their candidate, with Richmond Park MP Zac Goldsmith seen as the frontrunner.

The Conservatives have run City Hall for more than seven years, with Boris Johnson combining the role of London Mayor with that of MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip since his election in May.


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