London's first Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan set for landslide victory on UK's 'Super Thursday'

London's first Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan set for landslide victory on UK's 'Super Thursday'
London's first Muslim and ethnic minority mayor is seeking a second term amid concerns about rising crime in the UK capital.
2 min read
06 May, 2021
Sadiq Khan enters Thursday's election with a comfortable 62 percent lead [Getty]
Londoners will head to the polls on Thursday to vote in mayoral election, which will see Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan seek a second term in office.

Khan, who became the city's first Muslim and ethnic minority London leader in 2016, enters election day with nearly half of Londoners saying he is their first choice for mayor, according to projected polls on Wednesday.

The mayor's closest challenger, Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey, trails with 38 percent.

Speaking at his manifesto launch earlier this month, Khan pledged to battle "continuing austerity and an increasingly anti-London Tory government".

He also promised to lead London's coronavirus recovery efforts with "the spirit of 1945", referring to the Labour government that transformed the country with the introduction of the National Health Service and other reforms.

Bailey has pressed Khan on law and order in London, making crime a key issue of his campaign. A spate of recent knife attacks in the capital have increased concerns about violent crime, particularly among the youth. Twelve young people were killed in knife attacks this year.

London saw a total of 14 teenagers die in violent attacks in 2020, and 26 in 2019.

A poll commissioned by London's Evening Standard newspaper on Wednesday found that Londoners saw knife crime as the most pressing issue, followed by affordable housing, and violence against women and girls.

Thursday will also see millions across the UK head to polling booths to elect members of the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Senned, 143 local councils, 13 mayoral posts and one UK parliament seat.

The nation's eyes will be set on a Westminster by-election in the traditionally Labour town of Hartlepool, where the vote is seen as a key test for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and a referendum on Labour leader Kier Starmer.

The 'Super Thursday' elections are the largest Britain has held since the 2019 general election, which delivered Johnson a stunning 80-seat majority.

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