Sadiq Khan looks set to break a promise to local party members after pledging to be “a full time Mayor for Londoners” if elected next year.
Last year the Tooting MP claimed Boris Johnson’s decision to stand for parliament while serving his final year at City Hall made him a ‘part-time’ Mayor and said Londoners needed a full-time champion to speak up for them.
Earlier this week he exposed himself to accusations of hypocrisy after telling local party members and activists that he’d stay on in the Commons even if elected Mayor next year.
Members later took to Twitter welcoming Khan’s pledge “to serve a full term as Tooting MP if elected Mayor.”
That promise was seen by some as an attempt to ward off claims that by running for City Hall he was undermining statements made during the general election.
Although there was much speculation that Khan was planning a Mayoral bid, he declined to confirm or deny his intentions and repeatedly insisted that his sole focus was on serving Tooting residents.
But just days after Labour lost the general election, Khan announced he would stand to become Labour’s candidate in next year’s Mayoral election prompting suggestions that he’d failed to be “honest with his constituents” about his ambitions.
On Wednesday he sought to end claims that he was guilty of double-standards by tweeting: “If I’m fortunate enough to be elected next May, I will be a full time Mayor for Londoners.”
That message was repeated by Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the TSSA rail union, which has endorsed Khan’s mayoral campaign.
In a statement Cortes said Khan had: “pledged that he will not ‘do a Boris’ and continue as an MP if he succeeds in becoming Mayor next April. Being Mayor of London is a full time post and Sadiq recognises that crucial fact, even if Boris does not.”
Cortes had previously called on “part-time Boris” to quit City Hall after the general election, suggesting he was “too busy persuing his parliamentary and literary careers to properly carry out his day job as Mayor.”