London became the first major Western capital to elect a Muslim mayor on Friday as Labour claimed victory for its candidate Sadiq Khan despite setbacks elsewhere in Britain for the main national opposition party in local and regional elections that underscored Britain’s political divisions. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hailed Khan’s win over Conservative Zac Goldsmith, after a bitter campaign in which Prime Minister David Cameron sought to link Khan to Islamic extremists.
Congratulations Sadiq Khan. Can’t wait to work with you to create a London that is fair for all! YesWeKhan.
The race to replace the charismatic Conservative Boris Johnson pitched Khan, the son of a bus driver and a seamstress who emigrated from Pakistan in the 1960s, against Goldsmith, whose father was a wealthy tycoon. Khan’s victory offered some cheer for Corbyn after Labour’s mixed performance in elections across Britain in the wake of a row over anti-Semitism in the party failed to dispel questions over the veteran socialist’s leadership. After a divisive campaign, Kahn now faces the task of bringing London’s diverse communities together to keep it on its perch as a top world city.
I’m a Londoner, I’m British, I’m of Islamic faith, of course I am a proud Muslim. I’m of Asian origin, of Pakistani heritage. But the great thing about this city is you can be a Londoner of any faith or none and we don’t simply tolerate each other: we respect, we embrace and we celebrate each other.