Labour declares victory in London mayor race as Sadiq Khan is re-elected

The result follows a difficult campaign for both Labour and the Conservatives

Zoe Grunewald
Saturday 04 May 2024 16:21 BST
London mayor Sadiq Khan casts vote in local election

Labour has declared victory in London as Sadiq Khan to is re-elected as the Mayor of London.

Mr Khan secured his third term in office with just over 1,088,000 votes, a majority of some 275,000 over Conservative rival Susan Hall, who secured just under 813,000 votes. This means that the Labour politician received 43.8 per cent of the voter share to Ms Halls 32.7 per cent.

Sir Keir had signalled he was confident of Mr Khan’s victory before declarations commenced, as he counted mayoral victories for his party in Liverpool, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, and in Greater Manchester where Andy Burnham returned to power.

In a fresh challenge to the Prime Minister to call an election, Sir Keir said: “Fourteen years and, I am sorry, I don’t care which political party you support, if you leave your country in a worse state than when you found it 14 years later, you do not deserve to be in government for a moment longer.”

Murmurs on Friday evening suggested the result may be closer than initially thought, as Mr Khan’s majority was expected to be hit by dissatisfaction with the Ulez scheme and the Labour party’s stance on Gaza.

Pat McFadden, a senior member of Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet, admitted that the party’s stance on Gaza, and Sir Keir’s support for Israel, had affected votes, saying that with “so many innocent people being killed I’m not surprised people have strong feelings about that”.

Susan Hall’s campaign was hit by allegations of Islamophobia (Shiv Gupta/PA Wire)

Yet Mr Khan has achieved a higher majority than 2021, equating to a 3.2 per cent swing from Conservative to Labour.

The Tory candidate’s campaign had also been mired by controversy amid allegations of islamophobia.

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting provoked ire when he said that a win for Ms Hall and the Conservatives is “a win for racists, white supremacists and Islamophobes the world over.”

Mr Streeting was referring to Ms Hall joining a Facebook group that contained Islamophobic hate speech and abusive comments about her opponent.

Former Conservative party chair and peer Sayeeda Warsi also criticised Ms Hall and accused the party of “gutter politics”.

Baroness Warsi - who served as Tory chair between 2010 and 2012 - said on X/Twitter: “Why is it that with every London Mayoral election we manage to find a candidate worse than the last and manage to sink that little bit more into gutter politics.

“Look @andy4wm [Tory West Midlands mayor Andy Street] and learn @Conservatives - how inclusive and decent politics can be done. Be more #Street and less #Susan.”

It comes as Rishi Sunak suffered a terrible first day of council election results with the prime minister now nervously waiting on the result from the West Midlands mayoral contest.

Mr Khan’s campaign has faced difficulties following voter concerns about ULEZ and Gaza (Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

Yet despite the disappointing results, plans of a coup have failed to materialise with one senior MP telling the Independent: “I think it is over. Rishi will lead us into the next election.”

Election expert Sir John Curtice suggested the final outcome could be the party’s worst performance for 40 years.

Lord Ben Houchen’s re-election on Teesside was a crumb of comfort for the Conservatives on a dreadful night, just months from a general election.

Attention now turns to the mayoral contest in the West Midlands, where a win for Tory Andy Street could help stop a leadership plot from rebel MPs.

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