Race for London Mayor tighter than expected as counting resumes

Race for London Mayor tighter than expected as counting resumes

Sadiq Khan has been re-elected London Mayor as had been widely expected, providing some joy to the opposition Labour Party which has suffered a series of disappointing results in other local elections.

Conservative challenger Shaun Bailey had been effectively written off by some even within his own party in the run up to the 6 May election, but in results declared so far he has come out on top in areas previously won by the current mayor.

A noticeably tired Khan said in his victory speech: "I promise to strain every sinew, help build a better and brighter future for London, after the dark days of the pandemic and to create a greener, fairer, and safer city for all Londoners, to get the opportunities they need to fulfil their potential".

It was announced Khan had won a second term at 11pm on Saturday, amid earlier suggestions that the declaration would be delayed until Sunday.

"As well as focusing on the urgent task of London's recovery and investing in jobs and skills, I promise to continue putting everything I have into tackling the long-standing issues that matter most to Londoners, including making our streets safer, building more affordable homes and tackling the twin emergencies of air pollution and climate change".

In the government's opinion, it is possible that London's candidacy could win by proposing "the most sustainable games to be celebrated, both environmentally and financially", as the infrastructure built for 2012 will be used.

He said he wanted "to ensure London can play its part in a national recovery" and to "build a brighter greener and more equal future" for the United Kingdom capital.

"It would not be reasonable to not want the benefits of the Olympic Games in London in 2036 or 2040", said Khan, 50, who started as a favorite in the polls to vote.

It comes after often frosty relations between Khan and the Government, including a recent row with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his predecessor as mayor, over Transport for London's finances.

When first preference votes were counted, Mr Khan gained 1,013,721 votes, compared to Mr Bailey on 893,051. Green Party candidate Sian Berry was in third place with 8%.

Mr Khan was first elected mayor of the capital in 2016 in a landslide victory, breaking the Conservatives' eight-year hold on City Hall.

The human rights lawyer-turned-politician became the first Muslim mayor of a major European capital.

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