Sadiq Khan will be the Labour candidate for the London mayoral election in 2020 after securing enough support from within the party.
Khan has enough backing from the powerful GMB trade union to pass the 50 percent threshold he needs to be the Labour candidate. He tweeted his thanks to Labour and trade union members Friday.
Since June, Constituency Labour Parties (known as CLPs) in London, and organizations and unions affiliated to the party in the capital, have been voting on whether to automatically reselect Khan or hold an open selection process. Although the deadline for a decision is September 30, the GMB’s support will push Khan over the line.
Warren Kenny, the GMB’s London regional secretary, told Huffington Post: “Two years ago Londoners elected Sadiq Khan as London mayor by a thumping margin in the face of a nasty and divisive campaign from the Tories.
“Since he came to office our mayor has consistently championed people living and working in London. We are proud to be giving GMB’s firm backing to Sadiq Khan to carry on the job of making London a fairer and more equal city.”
Khan was elected London mayor in 2016, defeating the Conservatives’ Zac Goldsmith and winning 57 percent of the vote. There had been speculation that he would face a challenge from a Jeremy Corbyn ally in the 2020 race as Khan and the Labour leader have repeatedly clashed.
Earlier this month, Khan told LBC radio that Corbyn’s comment about Jews that have lived in the U.K. all their lives not understanding “English irony” was “unacceptable.”
Khan has also repeatedly locked horns with U.S. President Donald Trump. After the 2017 attack on London Bridge and Borough Market, which claimed seven lives, Khan condemned the terrorists but urged Londoners not to be alarmed.
“At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’” Trump tweeted in response, mischaracterizing the mayor’s comment. A day later, Trump tweeted: “Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his ‘no reason to be alarmed’ statement. MSM is working hard to sell it!”
Khan later called on the British government to cancel Trump’s planned state visit. “I don’t think we should roll out the red carpet” to Trump “in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for,” he said.
However, in December, Khan said “if [Trump] wants to meet with the mayor of London, of course I’d be happy to meet with him and show him parts of London where Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs, members of organized faiths and those that aren’t, don’t just tolerate each other but respect, celebrate and embrace each other.”
Khan and Trump did not meet when the U.S. president visited Britain in July.
The ballot for the Conservative London mayoral selection process opens Monday, the New Statesman reported, with London Assembly members Shaun Bailey and Andrew Boff, and Ealing councillor Joy Morrissey the shortlisted candidates.