LONDON: Labour Party politician Sadiq Khan, the son of a Pakistani bus driver, is poised to win London’s mayoral race, making London the first European Union (EU) capital with a Muslim mayor, The Guardian reported on Friday.
Khan was well ahead of his main opponent, Conservative Zac Goldsmith, in first preference votes after a bitter campaign during which the Goldsmith camp sought to link Khan to Islamic extremists.
The race to replace Boris Johnson pitched two very different candidates against each other — Khan, the son of a Pakistani bus driver and a seamstress, against Goldsmith, whose father was a wealthy financier.
A Khan victory would offer some cheer for embattled Labour chief Jeremy Corbyn after local election losses elsewhere in England failed to dispel questions over the veteran socialist’s leadership.
Corbyn, who has faced opposition from centrists in his party since becoming leader last year, insisted his party had “hung on” and surpassed expectations.
“All across England last night we were getting predictions that we were going to lose councils. We didn’t,” he said.
“We hung on and we grew support in a lot of places. “With results in from 110 out of 124 councils, Labour had 55, down one, and 1,176 seats, down 25.
Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives had control of an unchanged 30 councils and 650 seats, down 23.
A BBC projection suggested that Labour would win 31 percent of the vote share nationally compared to 30 percent for the Conservatives.
“The Labour Party is in serious trouble, although the likely election of a Labour candidate to be London mayor will distract from that,” said Matthew Goodwin, politics professor at Kent University.
Courtesy : Dawn News