London elects Sadiq Khan, first Muslim Mayor, after ugly campaign
London (CNN) Sadiq Khan, a practicing Muslim and Labour Party
politician, has been elected Mayor of London, marking a political
milestone in the Western world. Londoners voted in Khan, 45, as the
first Muslim mayor of a major Western capital city. He will take office
in a metropolis where his fellow Muslims comprise about 12% of the
population. His victory followed an unusually bitter campaign against
Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith, the son of a billionaire, in which
race and religion have proven ugly flashpoints.
The London-born son of Pakistani immigrants, Khan grew up with his
six brothers and sister in a three-bedroom, public housing apartment. He
studied law, became a university lecturer and the chairman of a civil
liberties group, and was elected to Parliament in 2005.Affordable
housing in a city increasingly drawing the super-rich, aging
infrastructure and transportation are top issues facing the new
mayor.Khan is replacing incumbent Boris Johnson, a colorful and popular
figure who took office in 2008 and was a rare Conservative mayor in the
Labour-leaning British capital.
Johnson is leading the campaign for Britain to leave the European
Union at a referendum on June 23. He is clashing with Prime Minister
David Cameron, who is in favor of the United Kingdom remaining.