Labour’s Sadiq Khan has thanked “friends and supporters in the Jewish community” after winning a second term as London’s mayor by beating Conservative rival Shaun Bailey.
The 51 year-old, who became the first Muslim mayor of a European capital city when he was elected to the role five years ago, failed to match his record-breaking 2016 poll vote this time around.
Tory candidate Bailey performed better than expected in an election campaign dominated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, as Khan secured a 280,000 majority.
Vote totals for the mayoral contest across the capital showed Khan attracting 1,013,721 votes, while Bailey had 893, 051.
Speaking to Jewish News, victorious Khan said: “I want to pay tribute to the many Jewish Londoners who are part of my team.
“And I am proud that so many in the community continued to support me as I campaigned to become mayor again this time around.
“It meant so much to be that the first event I did as mayor in 2016 was Yom Hashoah.
“Since then I have not stopped engaging with and listening to the Jewish community, over their concerns, and their successes.
“I have campaigned to be a mayor for all Londoners.
“The contribution of Jewish Londoners is one of the reasons we are one of the greatest cities in the world.”
Khan was seen as the favourite throughout the campaign but he failed to win more than 50 per cent of first-round votes as Bailey increased the Tory vote share by 1.6 per cent.
The final result, including second preferences, saw Khan secure 55. 2 per cent of the vote – while Bailey got 44.8.
A breakdown of the mayoral vote in the individual constituencies in the capital showed that Khan narrowly beat Bailey in Barnet and Camden, with the Labour mayor securing 67, 610 and the Conservative getting 65, 822 votes.
In neighbouring Brent and Harrow, Bailey secured a surprise victory over Khan on first preference voted.
The Green Party’s Sian Berry came third, while the Liberal Democrats’ Luisa Porritt was fourth.
Khan had last month told Jewish News of his intention to visit Israel in his second term as mayor.
He had also stressed his close working relationship with the mayor of Tel Aviv during the pandemic, saying he regularly turned to Ron Huldai for advice on combating negative publicity around the Covid vaccine.
Bailey had been supported by the Conservative Friends of Israel organisation throughout his campaign – and had also vowed to visit the Jewish state if he won.
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