May 24, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Sadiq Khan re-elected Mayor of London in Labour’s latest victory

Sadiq Khan re-elected Mayor of London in Labour’s latest victory

Sadiq Khan, a two-term centre-left mayor of London, on Saturday became the first three-time winner of the office by a comfortable margin, marking a new setback for Britain’s ruling Conservative Party ahead of an imminent general election.

Mr Khan, of the main opposition Labor Party, was initially elected to the position in 2016, becoming the first Muslim mayor of London, and is now the first politician to win three consecutive terms since the position was created in 2000.

With Labor leading by a large margin in the polls ahead of the looming general election, many analysts expected Khan to score a comfortable win in a left-leaning city, but some saw the possibility of an unexpectedly close election. The race is against Susan Hall, who represents the Conservatives.

That possibility quickly faded on Saturday, as it became clear that victory was on the horizon for Mr Khan. In the final results, he won by more than a million votes and 43% of the total, while Ms Hall received about 32%.

“We have faced a campaign of relentless negativity,” Khan said in his acceptance speech, which was initially peppered with heckling. “We have responded to fearmongering with facts, hatred with hope, and attempts at division with efforts at unity.”

The vote itself was held on Thursday alongside other local and mayoral elections in which the Conservatives, led by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, suffered a series of setbacks.

Late on Saturday, things got worse for Mr Sunak when the results of another closely watched mayor’s race in the West Midlands came in, which the Conservatives had been hoping to win. But the party’s candidate, Andy Street, lost the position he held after being narrowly defeated by Labor candidate Richard Parker.

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In London, the electoral system for choosing a mayor has changed since Khan was last re-elected, in 2021, and the government has also introduced a new requirement for voters to show photo ID. Some analysts fear this will deter poorer and younger voters among whom Labor tends to poll well.

Amid pressures on living standards, and with limited powers as Mayor of London, Mr Khan has had to struggle to convince Londoners that he is working to improve their lives. Pre-vote opinion polls gave him a strong lead over his Conservative rival, Ms Hall, but with a smaller advantage than his party has in national polls.

But ultimately, Khan improved his performance in 2021 after promising free school meals for pupils, a freeze on travel prices and more house building.

Ms Hall has campaigned for a reduction in the area covered by London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone, or ULEZ, an anti-pollution measure that forces owners of some older cars to charge £12 and 50 pence, about $15.50, for every day they drive there. .

The ULEZ was introduced in central London by former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, when he was Mayor of the city. But it is Mr Khan who has expanded its scope beyond London, arguing that improving poor air quality is essential. It is known to have contributed to at least one death in London.

The backlash from old car owners in the region has led to a broader rethink within government about the cost of environmental policies. Shortly after the Oxbridge contest, Mr Sunak announced a weakening of Britain’s climate change targets.

In her campaign, Ms Hall also targeted Mr Khan’s crime-fighting record in the capital, although one of her party’s attack ads, which showed people running to safety, attracted ridicule when it emerged that the images used were filmed not in London. But at Penn Station in New York in 2017.

After her wallet was found missing last year, Ms. Hall He told LBC radio She believed she had been pocketed on a London Underground train, using the incident as an example of how crime had spiraled out of control under Mr Khan. The wallet was later returned by a retired businessman who said he had found it on a train seat and that it appeared to have been lost rather than stolen and thrown away.

Ms Hall also faced criticism after previously suggesting that the Notting Hill Carnival, a popular annual event on the Caribbean street in west London, It will likely be transferred In the interest of public safety, and Like a post on social media that describes Mr Khan as “Mayor of Londonistan”.

Mr Khan was on the receiving end of a direct anti-Muslim attack from Lee Anderson, the MP who was suspended from the Conservative parliamentary party after he claimed Islamists had taken control of London because Mr Khan had “abandoned our capital”. To his colleagues.”

Mr Anderson admitted his comments were “a bit clumsy”, but refused to apologise, and later joined Reform UK, a small right-wing party.

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But it is former President Donald J. Trump who has become the London mayor’s most famous critic, having disagreed with him since 2016 on issues including immigration and terrorism. In 2019, after the mayor He opposed publicly During his state visit to Britain, Mr Trump accused Mr Khan of being “bad” to him, while misspelling his name and mocking his status.

Shortly after, Trump also called the mayor of London a “disaster,” citing several stabbings in the British capital, and wrote on social media that London needed to replace Mr. Khan as soon as possible.

Given that Mr. Trump is unpopular in Britain, the former president’s attacks are unlikely to have hurt Mr. Khan, who has refuted one of the charges against him. In 2019, Mr. Trump called the Mayor of London an “idiot.” “Cold loser.”