Since 2016, the city of London has been run by Sadiq Khan, a Londoner of Pakistani origin. This man turns out to be the first mayor of a European capital, while being of modest origin and of Muslim faith. He has been able to rise to the rank of mayor thanks to his humanist convictions, his social policy and his commitment to the most disadvantaged. But how did he manage to become mayor of London? What was his background? A look back at his career and youth with the political enthusiast Boris Lefebvre.
Modest youth and a promising future
Sadiq Khan was born in 1970 to a Pakistani family who immigrated to the United Kingdom shortly before his birth. He lived all his childhood and youth in an HLM housing estate in the Tooting district. This area is known to be popular, it is located in South London. Young Sadiq Khan grew up there with his six brothers and only sister. As for his parents, his father was a bus driver, while his mother was a seamstress. At school, he first discovered a great interest in science and decided to become a dentist. However, one of his professors had identified a certain oratorical talent and decided to encourage him to study law. He will therefore be a lawyer, specializing in human rights, which means that he will be president of an NGO called Liberty for three years.
An ambition for politics
From a very young age, he felt a deep interest in politics. At the age of 15, he joined the Labour Party before becoming a member of the Wandsworth City Council in South London in 1994. He will keep his position as a municipal councillor until 2006. His political career really began in 2005, when he decided to put his legal career on hold in order to devote himself fully to politics. He was quickly elected deputy for Tooting, his home neighbourhood. In 2008, Gordon Brown, then Prime Minister, offered him the position of Minister responsible for communities and, in 2009, he nominated him to the Transport Department. Afterwards, he continued his commitments within the Labour Party before becoming a candidate in the London City Hall elections in 2015. He was finally elected against all odds by 56.8% of the votes and was recognized for his humanist convictions and his defence of human rights.
Since taking up his new position as Mayor of London in 2016, he has made a name for himself through these actions in favour of a social and progressive policy. He claims to be sensitive to ecology and feminism, by engaging in actions in favour of these causes. In addition, it has made great progress in the area of transport in the city of London.