Sadiq Khan re-elected as London mayor in Labour’s latest victory

Sadiq Khan, the two-term centre-left mayor of London, on Saturday became the first three-time elected official to win the job by a wide margin, handing Britain’s ruling Conservative Party another setback ahead of a looming general election. .

Khan, from the main opposition Labor Party, was first elected in 2016, becoming London’s first Muslim mayor and the first politician to win three consecutive terms since the role was created in 2000.

With the general election looming, Labor has a large lead in opinion polls and many analysts had expected Mr Khan to win comfortably in the left-leaning city, but it could be an unexpectedly close race. Some analysts believed that there was. He will face Conservative Party representative Susan Hall.

On Saturday, when it became clear that Mr. Khan’s victory was imminent, that prospect quickly faded, with the final results showing Mr. Khan receiving more than 1 million votes, or 43% of the total, to Mr. Hall, with about 32%. was secured.

“We have faced a constant campaign of negativity,” Khan said in his acceptance speech, which was initially interrupted by jeers. “We have met fear-mongering with fact, hatred with hope, “We responded to attempts at division with efforts at unity,” he added.

The vote itself, held on Thursday along with other local and mayoral elections, suffered a series of setbacks for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s embattled Conservative Party.

London’s mayoral election system has changed since 2021, when Mr Khan was last re-elected, and the government has also introduced a new requirement for voters to show a photo ID. Some analysts feared that Labor would turn off poor and young voters, who tend to have higher support levels.

With living standards under pressure and his powers as mayor of London limited, Mr Khan had to fight to convince Londoners that he was improving their lives. Pre-vote polls showed him with a wide lead over his Conservative rival Hall, but it is smaller than his party’s lead in national polls.

But in the end, Mr Khan improved his 2021 results by promising to make school meals free for students, freeze travel costs and boost housing construction.

Hall said the area is covered by London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), an anti-pollution measure that charges some older car owners 12 pounds 50 pence (about $15.50) per day of driving. I was exercising to lose weight.

ULEZs were introduced in central London by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson when he was mayor. However, it was Mr Khan who expanded the scope to include the suburbs of London, arguing that it was essential to improve poor air quality. Known to be involved in at least one death in London.

While inner London is a stronghold for the Labor Party, support for the Conservative Party is significantly higher in the outer suburbs of London, where more households typically own a car. When Mr Johnson left parliament last year, the Conservative Party campaigned against the ULEZ and then won a special parliamentary election to replace him in the Uxbridge area, which he represented in the London suburbs. .

A backlash from owners of older cars in the region has prompted a broader rethink within government about the costs of environmental policy. Shortly after the Uxbridge contest, Mr Sunak announced a weakening of the UK’s climate change targets.

In his campaign, Mr. Hall also targeted Mr. Khan’s record in fighting crime in the capital. However, one of the party’s attack ads, which showed people fleeing to safety, drew ridicule after it emerged that the images used were taken outside London. But in 2017 at New York’s Penn Station.

Hall noticed her wallet was missing last year. He told radio station LBC. She said she thought it had been stolen from her pocket on the London Underground, using the episode as an example of how crime has spiraled out of control under Mr Khan. The wallet was later returned by a retired businessman who found it on a train seat, which she said appeared to have been lost rather than stolen and thrown away.

Ms Hall also said that Notting Hill Carnival, the famous Caribbean street event held annually in west London, may be relocated for public safety, and Like a social media post that explains Mr. Khan as the “nipple-high mayor of Londonistan.”

Mr Khan has received more direct anti-Islamic criticism from Lee Anderson, the Conservative MP who was suspended for claiming that Islamists controlled London because Mr Khan had “given away the capital”. I was under attack. To his friends. ”

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

But the London mayor’s most prominent critic has been former President Donald J. Trump, who has feuded with the mayor since 2016 over issues including immigration and terrorism. After being appointed mayor in 2019 publicly opposed Trump accused Khan of being “mean” during his state visit to Britain, misspelling his name and mocking his height.

Shortly after, Trump also called London’s mayor a “disaster”, writing on social media that London needs to replace Khan as soon as possible, citing several stabbings in the British capital. is.

Given Mr Trump’s unpopularity in Britain, it is unlikely that the former president’s attacks hurt Mr Khan, who has disproved one of the accusations against him. In 2019, Trump said of the London mayor: “Stone cold loser”

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