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Sadiq Khan becomes London mayor and promises to be “most pro-business yet”

4 min read

07 May 2016

Former editor

Labour MP Sadiq Khan has seen off a challenge from the Conservative’s Zac Goldsmith to become London’s third mayor – polling nearly 57 per cent of the combined vote.

Despite facing criticism for calling moderate Muslims “Uncle Toms”, Khan has ensured that London’s City Hall will be run by a Labour candidate after eight years of the Conservatives and Boris Johnson.

Khan has been Labour MP for Totting since 2005 and has formerly served as minister of state for transport, shadow lord chancellor and, mort recently, shadow minister for London.

As outlined in our pre-vote article looking at the business pledges of the six leading candidates, Khan pledged to be the “most pro-business mayor yet”.

After the final count, it was revealed 45.6 per cent of registered voters turned out to give their preference. This gave Khan some 1.3m votes – 57 per cent of the total – compared to Goldsmith’s 994,614.

He has said: “From day one, my approach will be to form a true partnership with business. I will take an active role in helping to break down the obstacles holding London’s firms back and affecting their competitiveness.

“As someone who helped to run and grow a business before becoming a MP, I know the challenges many in the business community face and the importance of politicians working closely with business.”

His three main commitments include:

  • Creating a Business Advisory Board to discover growth challenges of companies, while including them within policy planning
  • Acknowledging the skills gap with a Skills for Londoners scheme to work closely with businesses, enabling each to posses the skills required for scaling
  • Prevent business space losses by working with local authorities, while he will also make a case for London industry to push overseas for overseas growth

How the new mayor can turn London into the world’s entrepreneurship mecca

Breakdown of the vote

First round:

Sadiq Khan (Labour) 44.2 per cent
Zac Goldsmith (Conservatives) 35 per cent
Sian Berry (Green) 5.8 per cent
Caroline Pidgeon (Liberal Democrats) 4.6 per cent
Peter Whittle (UKIP) 3.6 per cent
Sophie Walker (Women) 2 per cent
George Galloway (Respect Party) 1.4 per cent
Paul Golding (Britain first) 1.2 per cent
Lee Harris (CISTA) 0.8 per cent
David Furness (BNP) 0.5 per cent
Prince Zylinski (Independent) 0.5 per cent
Ankit Love (Love) 0.2 per cent

Second round:

Sadiq Khan (Labour) 50.4 per cent
ConZac Goldsmith (Conservatives) 38.3 per cent

Khan claims to have met with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the Institute of Directors (IoD), the City of London Corporation and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in recent months to shape policy.

“As mayor, I will work with all of these groups and many others to deliver the infrastructure and skills the capital needs, campaign for increased aviation capacity in London, and champion London at home and abroad,” he added.

Khan’s other rivals to become mayor included Sian Berry of the Greens, Respect Party’s George Galloway, Caroline Pidgeon of the Liberal Democrats and UKIP candidate Peter Whittle.

Khan now plans to hire a chief digital office, promising to use their knowledge to the fullest.

He previously explained: “I would personally work with them to devise a London plan that would include an Open Data Charter, planning regulation that requires digital infrastructure and greater access to Tier 2 Visas to bring even more tech talent to London.”

Meanwhile, the London Assembly, which is responsible for inspecting what the mayor does, is now made up of 12 Labour seats. The Conservatives hold eight, the Greens two, Liberal Democrats one and UKIP two.

The government’s position on London transport is as confused as the Brexit debate