Labour’s Sadiq Khan has won the mayoral contest breaking the Conservatives’ eight-year hold on the London mayoralty by defeating Tory rival Zac Goldsmith.
According to Sky News, the Labour MP from Tooting in south London will become the first Muslim mayor of London after he defeated Conservative’s Zac Goldsmith.
The result follows an at times bitter mayoral bid from both camps, with Goldsmith’s campaign being labelled “vile” by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Goldsmith and David Cameron in turn sought to link Mr Khan with Muslim “extremists” during the lead up to Thursday’s poll.
Khan, a bus driver’s son, was the bookmakers’ favourite to win the mayoral race.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn congratulated Khan on his historic win.
Sayeeda Warsi, former Conservative chairperson, described the racist campaign by Goldsmith the reason for her party’s loss in London mayoral contest.
Speaking shortly after vote counting began, a source in Mr Khan’s camp said: “So far as we can tell, things have gone pretty much as we expected.”
Boris Johnson sent a final message as he left office after eight years in office.
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) May 3, 2016
A profile of the known Labour face in British politics says that that Khan 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 all through the campaign period Khan proved himself an inclusive campaigning force.