Labour’s Sadiq Khan elected Mayor of London
Labour’s Sadiq Khan will succeed Boris Johnson as the Mayor of London, after a decisive victory in this week’s Mayoral election.
Mr Khan, who has served as the Labour MP for Tooting since 2005, is one of the country’s most prominent pro-LGBT Muslim politicians.
He has been candid about receiving death threats from some hardline Islamist preachers after voting in favour of same-sex marriage in 2013, and is a strong voice for tolerance.
The politician beat out Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith at the polls yesterday. Mr Khan received 42 percent of votes in the first round, while Mr Goldsmith won just 36 percent.
Mr Khan, who previously worked as a human rights lawyer, had sustained attacks during the election campaign for speaking at events alongside anti-LGBT preachers.
Just one day before the election. Prime Minister David Cameron had publicly criticised Mr Khan in Parliament for sharing a platform with anti-LGBT preacher Suliman Gani. Mr Gani is Conservative activist who has also spoken alongside Goldsmith and several other Tory MPs.
Mr Cameron had said: “I am not going to let the issue about the right hon. Member for Tooting rest. The right hon. Member for Tooting shared a platform with [Gani] nine times.
“[Gani] described women as ‘subservient’ to men. He said that homosexuality was an ‘unnatural’ act. He stood on a platform with people who wanted an Islamic state.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn highlighted Gani’s links to the Conservatives, while Mr Khan noted: “This gentleman [Gani] was very unhappy I voted for same-sex marriage”.
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Speaking to PinkNews earlier this year, Mr Khan pledged to take a tough stance on homophobic hate crimes as Mayor.
He said: “I’ve been the victim of hate crime – anybody who is a minority is potentially the victim of hate crime.
“Whether you’re an ethnic minority, you’re lesbian gay, trans, religious minority, a woman, disabled, to me it’s personal because I have been on the receiving end.”
He added: “It’s a badge of shame – that in spite of the progress that we have made over the last 20, 30 years if you’re a Londoner who happens to be LGBT, you make yourself vulnerable to hate crime.
“It’s heartbreaking that as the father of two children, that almost half of LGBT young people have self harmed or tried to kill themselves, just think about that for a second.”
Mr Khan also said he would restore the Mayor’s role attending Pride in London – which Boris Johnson has missed every year since 2010.