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Sadiq Khan reinstated as mayor of London

London. Sadiq Khan, the Labor Party’s mayor of London, emerged victorious on Saturday, securing a record third consecutive term at City Hall, in another hugely disappointing day for the UK’s ruling Conservatives ahead of an imminent general election.

Khan obtained just over a million votes, almost 44% of the vote, finishing more than 11 percentage points ahead of his main rival, Susan Hall, of the Conservative Party. She did well in central London, but struggled in several outlying districts.

There was frantic speculation on Friday that the result would be closer than previously thought, but Khan’s lead so far shows a swing from the Conservatives towards Labour.

Khan, who replaced Boris Johnson as mayor of London in 2016, has been an increasingly divisive figure in recent years.

While its supporters claim it has multiple achievements, such as expanding housing construction, free school lunches for young children, keeping transport costs under control and generally supporting London’s minority groups , his critics say he has overseen a rise in crime, is anti-car and has unnecessarily allowed pro-Palestinian rallies to become a weekend fixture.

“Sadiq Khan was absolutely the right candidate,” said Labor Party leader Keir Starmer. “He has two terms of delivery behind him and I trust that he has another term of delivery ahead of him.”

The Labor mayors of Liverpool, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire were also re-elected on Saturday, a day after the party took control of councils across England that it had not held for decades. Labor also won a special election for a seat in Parliament, which if moved to a general election would be one of the biggest defeats in the history of the Conservatives.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak could breathe a sigh of relief when the Conservative mayor of Tees Valley, in the northeast of England, was re-elected, albeit with a low percentage of the vote. Sunak hopes Andy Street will also remain Conservative mayor in the West Midlands, especially in the city of Birmingham.

One of the negative aspects for Labor was that its vote in heavily Muslim areas of England was undermined by opposition to the party leadership’s strongly pro-Israel stance on the Gaza war.

Starmer admitted the party has had problems with Muslim voters, but the results were generally positive for the man who is favorite to become prime minister at the next general election.

Sunak has the power to decide the date of the next elections, and has indicated that it will be in the second half of 2024. Starmer urged him not to wait.

“We are tired of their division, their chaos, their failure,” he said Saturday. “If he leaves his country in a worse state than when he found it, 14 years later, he does not deserve to be in government for even a moment longer.”

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– 2024-05-12 00:59:33

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