Born in Tooting to a working-class British-Pakistani family, Sadiq Khan is currently the Mayor of London and a leading figure in the Labour Party.
Before becoming London Mayor in 2016, Khan served as the MP for Tooting from 2005 until 2016. During his time in Parliament, Khan grew to be a prominent figure on the Labour front bench. He held ministerial roles under Gordon Brown and key Shadow Cabinet positions under Ed Miliband.
Sadiq Khan is a former amateur boxer, so here is the tale of the tape with the London Mayor.
Sadiq Khan Height – How tall is London’s Mayor?
Khan is reportedly 5ft 5inches ‘tall’.
The London Mayor is 1 inch shorter than the UK prime minister, Rishi Sunak. Khan is the same height as Margaret Thatcher, and three and half inches smaller than Keir Starmer who is 5 ft 8.5 inches tall.
During a previous Twitter spat with then US President Donald Trump, Sadiq Khan’s height became a talking point within the global media.
Trump compared Khan to ‘our very dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC de Blasio’, although Trump was quick to point out that Khan was ‘only half his height’. De Blasio is 6ft 5inches tall.
Khan’s height doesn’t though appear a problem for him. He has previously featured in Time Magazine’s list of the top the 100 most influential people in the world.
Sadiq Khan’s wife
Sadiq Khan married fellow solicitor, Saadiya in 1994. She reportedly still works as a solicitor, practising under her maiden name, Saadiya Ahmad.
Like Khan, Saadiya Khan’s wife was raised in the Islamic faith. Khan is a practising Muslim and the first Muslim Mayor of London.
The couple have two daughters.
Sadiq Khan the sportsman
Khan is a keen sportsman and he had a trial for Surrey County Cricket Club as a teenager. He still supports the Club and enjoys watching cricket.
The mayor of London is also reportedly a supporter of Liverpool Football Club.
Khan’s older brother, Sid, has been head of Earlsfield amateur boxing club for 30 years. Sadiq has also tried his hand in the ring and was an amateur boxer in his youth.
Sadiq Khan – Education and early Life
Sadiq Khan was born in St George’s Hospital, Tooting.on October 8th 1970.
Khan frequently references his working-class upbringing. He always appears particularly keen to mention his father’s job as a London bus driver.
His early years were spent in a council flat in the Henry Prince Estate in Earlsfield near Wimbledon. He attended the local comprehensive, Ernest Bevin Secondary School, before going to University to study Law. He completed his Law Society finals at the College of Law in Guildford.
Mr Khan began practicing as a solicitor specializing in human rights. He later became a visiting lecturer at the University of North London and at London Metropolitan University. He is also a former Chair of Liberty.
Before being elected to Parliament, Sadiq spent 12 years as a Councillor for the Tooting ward in the London Borough of Wandsworth. Having joined the Council at the age of just 23 in 1994, he later became deputy Leader of the Labour Group for 5 years.
Khan served was also Chair of Governors of the country’s first purpose built Islamic ethos primary school. He is also a former governor of South Thames FE College.
Sadiq Khan as London Mayor
Khan succeeded Boris Johnson as London Mayor in 2016, after beating out Conservative rival Zac Goldsmith with 57% of the vote. He was reelected in the 2021 London Mayoral elections, winning 55.2% of the vote (down 1.6% from 2016).
As London Mayor, Sadiq Khan has pursued environmentally friendly policies such as introducing an ‘Ultra Low Emission Zone’ (ULEZ) fee on all but the cleanest vehicles. Khan also introduced the ‘Hopper fare’ for unlimited bus and tram journeys for one hour, and a ‘toxicity charge’ (T-Charge) on inefficient vehicles.
Khan has been largely praised for these environmental policies, but he’s bared the brunt of criticism for his handling of London’s knife crime problems. Shaun Bailey, Khan’s Conservative challenger for the 2021 London Mayoral election, argued that ‘violent crime in London is out of control and the Mayor needs to be using every tool at his disposal to tackle this problem as quickly as possible’.
Khan is regarded as taking a progressive approach to drugs policy, and in 2022 announced that London’s first cannabis-diversion scheme would likely be implemented.
Worried that his then boss as Labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, might alienate pro-business voters in London, Khan assured us in 2016 that he would be ‘the most pro-business mayor ever’. In his time as London Mayor, Khan has backed the expansion of London City and Gatwick Airports.
Mayor Sadiq Khan presided over the London response to Coronavirus in 2020 and 2021. He was also London Mayor in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower Fire.
In February 2022, Dame Cressida Dick, Chief Constable of the Met Police, resigned after very publicly losing the support of London Mayor Sadiq Khan. After a string of scandals Khan said that he no longer felt she could restore trust and confidence in the force.
Early Political Career
Mr Khan ran as the Labour Party candidate for his home constituency of Tooting at the 2005 General Election.
After winning the seat, Khan became a vocal critic of Tony Blair in his final two years as Prime Minister. After opposing Blair’s proposed introduction of a 90 days’ detention scheme, ‘The Spectator’, edited at the time by Boris Johnson, named Khan parliamentary ‘Newcomer of the Year’.
Gordon Brown also thought highly of Khan, and upon his appointment as Prime Minister, made the Tooting MP an Assistant Government Whip. In a 2008 reshuffle, Khan was promoted again to Minister of State for Communities before becoming Minister of State for Transport in 2009.
Khan announced this latter appointment over Twitter, something which was quite novel at the time.
Following Labour’s defeat at the 2010 General Election, Khan became a prominent backer of Ed Miliband, even becoming his campaign manager during his Labour Leadership bid.
As Labour Leader, Miliband appointed Khan as the Shadow Justice Secretary (2010-2015) and as Shadow Minister for London (2013-2015). Khan stood down from the House of Commons after his election as London Mayor.
Former New York City Mayor and billionaire, Michael Bloomberg, has written how he wouldn’t be surprised to see Khan living in Downing Street in the future. Indeed, Khan is frequently pointed to as a future Labour Party Leader.
Khan is a key member of Labour’s ‘soft left’ and has been described by journalist Amol Rajan as a ‘torch-bearer’ for that social democratic wing’ of the party.
In 2015, Khan was one of 36 Labour MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn as a candidate for the Labour leadership election. However, Khan later insisted he only did this to ‘broaden the debate’. Indeed, as if to prove the point, in 2016, Khan then backed Corbyn’s challenger for the Labour leadership, Owen Smith.
Khan was a vocal supporter of ‘Remain’ in 2016 referendum campaign and he appeared alongside Scottish Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson in the BBC’s final EU referendum debate.
Khan attracted international attention for his Twitter spats with then US President Donald Trump. As a practitioner of the Muslim faith and a prominent campaigner for religious and racial tolerance, Khan opposed Trump’s 2019 State Visit. In response, Trump called the London Mayor a ‘stone cold loser’.
Twitter – @SadiqKhan
Facebook Address – @sadiqforlondon
Personal Website – https://sadiq.london