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.
Khan has previously featured in Time Magazine’s list of the top the 100 most influential people in the world.
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 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’.
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.
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.
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’.
Sadiq Khan was born in St George’s Hospital, Tooting. 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.
How old is Sadiq Khan?
Khan was born on the 8th of October 1970.
How tall is Sadiq Khan?
Khan is reportedly 5ft 5inches ‘tall’.
During his Twitter spat with President Trump, 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 frequently references his working-class upbringing. He always appears particularly keen to mention his father’s job as a London bus driver. Khan is a practising Muslim and the first Muslim Mayor of London.
Khan married fellow solicitor Saadiya Ahmed in 1994 and the couple have two daughters.
4 Things you might not know about Sadiq Khan
He is a Liverpool Fan
The mayor of London is reportedly a supporter of Liverpool Football Club.
He had a cricket trial for Surrey
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.
He was an amateur boxer during his youth
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 in his youth.
He has done stand up comedy
Khan used to tell jokes at ‘Stand Up For Labour’ benefit gigs, which he said was ‘a childhood dream come true’.
Twitter – @SadiqKhan
Facebook Address – @sadiqforlondon
Personal Website – https://sadiq.london