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Sadiq Khan wins third term as London mayor, capping strong showing for Labour in English local elections

John Phillips/Stringer

Sadiq Khan was first elected Mayor of London in 2016.


Sadiq Khan has won a third term as mayor of London, capping a series of local elections across England that confirmed the political supremacy of the Labor Party and brought misery for Britain’s Conservative government.

Khan won 43.7% of the vote, beating his conservative challenger Susan Hall by around 11 percentage points to extend his control over the capital since 2016.

It follows a string of victories in England for Labor, which is firmly positioned to take power from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his Conservatives in a general election in the coming months.

The Conservatives lost control of 10 local councils and almost 500 councilors on Thursday, suffering an electoral drubbing from the public that virtually everyone – including within the party – expected.

Labor leader Keir Starmer told reporters on Saturday: “I’m sorry, I don’t care what political party you support, if you leave your country worse off than you found it 14 years later, you don’t deserve to be there. Government for a while longer.

But Sunak probably found enough success to withstand a challenge to his leadership, which rebel Tories had threatened based on the outcome of Thursday’s election.

The party was hoping to retain the mayoral post in the West Midlands on Saturday, after holding the same position in the Tees Valley, giving the increasingly embattled Sunak something to grab onto as he seeks to at least unify his lawmakers at Westminster.

Thursday’s polls marked a final testing period before the general election, which is due to take place by January. Sunak has resisted calls to clarify when he would hold the vote, and Labor is well ahead in opinion polls.

Starmer’s opposition party took control of eight councils and also claimed victory in a Westminster by-election in Blackpool on Thursday.

The results confirmed the conventional polling narrative that the group is on course to win power, although Labor failed to bring about the devastating red wave that some in the party had hoped for, failing in some of the contests the most difficult ones he faced.

And it also appears that discontent with the party’s stance on Israel’s war in Gaza has hurt Labor voters in areas with large Muslim populations. Notably the loss of the council of Oldham, a town in the northwest of England where around a quarter of the population is Muslim.

“We recognize the strength of this feeling and, of course, we will continue to work as we do in all parts of the country to win back votes in the future,” said Labor shadow secretary of state Yvette Cooper, at the BBC.

If his victory is confirmed, Khan would become the first mayor of London to serve a third term since the post was created in 2000.

The city, home to nine million people, is more multicultural, liberal and pro-European than the UK as a whole, leading Khan into occasional clashes with successive Labor leaders, notably over the issue of Brexit.

He prioritized policies to reduce emissions in a bid to shed the city’s reputation as a major polluter, and made international headlines during a lengthy public spat with the former US president Donald Trump under his administration.

But critics have slammed Khan’s record on knife crime and his recent expansion of a world-first low-emissions zone, which Tories say would hit poorest families on London’s outskirts hardest .

News Source :
Gn world

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