Labour members and supporters have chosen Tooting MP Sadiq Khan as the party’s candidate in next year’s Mayor of London election.
The former Transport minister and shadow Justice Secretary beat off challenges from former Olympics minister Tessa Jowell, MPs David Lammy, Diane Abbott and Gareth Thomas plus transport expert Christian Wolmar, to secure the nomination.
Mr Khan led in each round of voting and in the final round took 58.9% of votes to Dame Tessa’s 41.1%, he also won in each group of eligible voters – members, affiliates and registered supporters.
Labour was originally due to announce its candidate in July but extended the process to run parallel to the leadership election triggered by the resignation of Ed Miliband following May’s general election defeat.
Mr Khan used the summer campaign to set out a number of policies aimed at reducing the cost of living including a new “living rent” and a freeze in Tube fares.
He’s also pledged to increase the number of affordable homes built on City Hall land and, although not a Mayoral decision, signalled his support for an increase in the London Living Wage.
Mr Khan’s bid for the nomination was endorsed by former Mayor Ken Livingstone, former Culture Secretary Chris Smith, MEP and gay rights campaigner Michael Cashman and the majority of unions affiliated with the Labour party.
Although his bid lacked the backing of most of Labour’s London council leaders, speaking after the result Mr Khan told MayorWatch that he already had pledges of support to deliver his vision of new homes and increased life opportunities from his colleagues in local government.
Mr Khan came under fire early in his selection bid for telling local party members that he would serve a full term as both MP and Mayor, despite previously attacking outgoing Mayor Boris Johnson for entering the Commons before his term as mayor had ended.
However he subsequently u-turned and announced he would step down from Parliament if elected as Mayor. He reiterated that position after his win today, telling journalists that Mayor was a full-time post and he would need to fully devote himself to the job in order to make it deliver for Londoners.
Speaking after the result was announced, Mr Khan vowed to “devote all my energies in our campaign to win back City Hall” and by highlighting Labour’s values of “fairness, ambition and opportunity”.
And Len Duvall, leader of the Labour group on the London Assembly, predicted that Mr Khan would “lead an exciting and energising campaign to win back the mayoralty in 2016”.
Commenting on Sadiq Khan’s selection as Labour’s candidate for Mayor of London, Leader of the London Assembly Labour Group Len Duvall AM said:
He added: “By the next election London will have faced eight years of drift and mismanagement under Boris Johnson. The capital is crying out for new leadership and a new direction and I know that Sadiq Khan and Labour members of the London Assembly will do everything possible to make that happen.”
By picking Mr Khan, members and supporters have bet against months of polling suggesting that, while Dame Tessa could beat likely Tory runner Zac Goldmsith, the Tooting MP would lead the party to its third successive City Hall defeat.
The party, which has only ever won a single London mayoral election, will be hoping the polls prove as unreliable next May as they did at this year’s general election.
Mr Khan is the second mayoral runner to be named by one of the four parties currently represented at City Hall after the Greens picked Camden councillor Sian Berry as their candidate earlier this month.
The pair are expected to be joined by Tory MP Zac Goldsmith and Caroline Pidgeon, the Liberal Democrat leader on the London Assembly as well as candidates from UKIP, Respect and independent runners.