London : Sadiq Khan was sworn-in as London’s mayor after he won by a record margin to become the first Muslim to occupy the top post as he hailed his victory as a triumph of “hope over fear and unity over division.”
Khan, the son of a Pakistani bus driver, beat Conservative Zac Goldsmith with 57 per cent votes – the largest mandate of any British politician in history – marking the return of Labour rule to the UK capital after eight years.
Khan was officially sworn-in as the new mayor of London at a multi-faith ceremony in Southwark Cathedral here. The first Muslim mayor of the British capital received a standing ovation as he walked into the hall after he won 1,310,143 votes to beat his nearest Conservative rival Goldsmith.
Sadiq Khan, son of a Pakistani bus driver, beat Conservative Zac Goldsmith with 57 per cent votes – the largest mandate of any British politician in history
“Good morning. My name is Sadiq Khan and I’m the mayor of London. I will be a mayor for all Londoners,” he said, before signing his declaration of office. The 45-year-old is the third person to become the elected mayor of London, after fellow Labour politician Ken Livingstone and Conservative Boris Johnson. In his victory speech at City Hall, his new office, Khan described London as the “greatest city in the world” and said he had never imagined that “someone like me could be elected as mayor of London”.
“Thank you London. London is the greatest city in the world. I am so proud of our city. I am deeply humbled by the hope and trust you have placed in me today. I want every single Londoner to get the opportunities that our city gave to me and my family,” Khan said.
“The opportunities, not just to survive but to thrive,” he said.
“I hope that we will never be offered such a stark choice again. Fear doesn’t make us safer, it only makes us weaker, and the politics of fear is simply not welcome in our city,” he said.
Khan received 57 per cent of the total votes in the so-called ‘Super Thursday’ elections , compared to Goldsmith’s 994,614, after the capital had its largest ever voting turnout at 45.6 per cent. Khan’s win seemed inevitable as all first preference votes were counted, giving him a 46 per cent vote share, nine points ahead of Goldsmith.
The new mayor, who succeeds Boris Johnson, has control over four major policy areas in London– transport, policing, environment, and housing and planning — under the London Assembly’s scrutiny. – PTI