LONDON (Reuters) – Sadiq Khan was re-elected London Mayor on Saturday as had been widely expected, providing some joy to the opposition Labour Party which has suffered a series of disappointing results in other local elections.
Khan, who became the first Muslim to head a major Western capital after his victory in 2016, saw off his main challenger, Shaun Bailey, the candidate from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party.
He won by 55.2% to Bailey’s 44.8% in a result which had been widely predicted, although his winning margin was smaller than his victory five years ago.
“I am deeply humbled by the trust Londoners have placed in me to continue leading the greatest city on earth,” Khan said, who focused his campaign on creating jobs and boosting London’s tourism economy.
“I promise to strain every sinew to help build a better and brighter future for London after the dark days of the pandemic.”
Khan, a former member of parliament who replaced Johnson as leader of the British capital with a population of almost nine million people, has faced criticism over rising violent crime in the capital, particularly stabbings involving teenagers.
One hundred business leaders today backed Mayor of London Sadiq Khan for re-election as the city’s “most pro-business mayor ever”, saying he had been a strong advocate for their sector during the coronavirus pandemic.
Khan is heavily tipped to win re-election on May 6 against his Conservative challenger Shaun Bailey when Londoners go to the polls on May 6.
He has pitched himself as the most business-friendly candidate, promising he will focus on “jobs, jobs, jobs” if he wins the race.
Helen McIntosh, principal of McIntosh & Associates and president of the South East London Chamber of Commerce, was among those who backed Khan.
“Sadiq has been the most pro-business mayor ever, standing up for our interests on issues like Brexit and business rates, and lobbying the Government to provide greater support for businesses through the challenges of the past year,” she said.
“During the pandemic, programmes like Pay It Forward London, the Back To Business Fund, and the Culture at Risk Fund have helped many small businesses to survive.”
Other business leaders who backed Khan include Alan Buckle, the former deputy chairman of KMPG, and Simon Pitkeathley, chief executive of Camden Town Unlimited, which represents Camden businesses.
Khan said in a statement to Insider: “I know that this last year has been the hardest in living memory for businesses dealing with the perfect storm of Brexit and the pandemic, and I am determined to continue standing up for them. If re-elected, I will never stop banging the drum for jobs and investment in our capital.
“Working together I know we can deliver my ambitious plan for London’s recovery and build a better, fairer, more prosperous city which offers a brighter future for all Londoners.”
Business leaders backing Sadiq Khan for re-election