Sadiq Khan has been chosen as Labour candidate to run for London mayor in 2016. 

Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan

The human rights lawyer and MP for Tooting pipped former Olympics minister Tessa Jowell in an alternative vote system which went to five rounds.

The former shadow justice secretary had won strong support from trade unions in his battle to be elected as successor to Boris Johnson at City Hall, and was endorsed by Unite and the GMB. 

In an article for the Jewish News during the campaign, he pledged to be “a mayor who is Muslim fighting for the interests of a large Jewish community and all minority communities”.

He pledged to call out anti-Semitism “wherever it arises”, and that it was “disgraceful” that schools and synagogues needed guards protecting them.

The MP for Tooting said in a promotional video for the campaign: “I share with the Jewish community their concerns over the rise of anti-Semitic attacks on Jews and on synagogues here in London.”

“It’s disgraceful that here in 21st century London we have guards outside schools and synagogues protecting them. Anti-Semitism like racism is vile. I stand shoulder to shoulder with Jewish community.”

He outlined a further pledge to the Jewish community, saying he would “provide resources the police need to keep the community safe, and I will call out anti-Semitism wherever it arises. We must rid our streets of this scourge.”

During the Gaza conflict last year, Khan made hailed the “courageous” decision of Baroness Warsi to resign over the Government’s approach, which he said had been “appalling”. David Cameron’s failure to criticise Israel, he said, was “shocking”. But he has also previously made clear his disgust at spikes in anti-Semitic incidents during conflicts involving Israel.

Khan paid tribute to Chanukah in the Square and “the brilliant Mitzvah Day initiative, bringing people from all backgrounds together to celebrate a Jewish day of social action showcases London at its best.”

As Mayor, he claimed he could “bring together communities and promote understanding” building on his previous experience with initiatives, like 3FF (Three Faiths Forum), The Coexistence Trust, and The All Party Parliamentary Group on anti-Semitism.

Jewish Labour Movement overwhelmingly nominated Dame Tessa this summer but members have today urged the organisation to unite behind the victor. Andrew Gilbert said on Facebook: “congratulations to Sadiq Khan on your campaign. Jewish @London Labour should support him 100% – London needs a working mayor for all Londoners.”