27 July, 2021

#London Rising High

The new mayor is riding a wave of popular support

Photograph by AP
#London Rising High

"My name is Sadiq Khan, and I’m the mayor of London,” was straight out of My Name is Khan’s famous sentence: ‘My name is Khan and I’m not a terrorist’—a dig at his Tory rival Zac Goldsmith’s racist campaign. Known as a man who comes from ­behind, Sadiq Aman Khan, 45, was born to migrant parents from Pakistan. His father Amanullah Khan, a bus driver and his mother, Sehrun Khan, a seamstress, came to this country in the 1960s and lived in a council estate in Tooting.

Fifth of seven brothers and a sister, sharing bunk beds with his brothers, Khan was not brought up in luxury and he and his brothers suffered racism in the 1980s, so Khan learnt boxing to defend himself. He says, “When we were growing up, getting beaten up was a regular thing. Being called the ‘P’ word was common. Knowing how to take a punch was essential.” A football and cricket enthusiast who also completed the London Marathon in 2014, Khan became a Liverpool fan after he and his brothers faced racism during a Chelsea match at...

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