Despite a conservative campaign against him that many Londoners called racist, Sadiq Khan is poised to become the West’s most prominent Muslim politician.
LONDON – Sadiq Khan was elected Mayor of London on Friday, making him the most powerful Muslim politician in the Western world.
Khan, whose father became a bus driver when he moved to Britain from Pakistan, will command a $23 billion annual budget and oversee London’s policing, housing, and transport infrastructure.
In 2009, he became the first Muslim member of the British Cabinet, which required him to be sworn in by the Queen.
Zac Goldsmith, Khan’s Conservative opponent, started the race to replace Boris Johnson as a popular figure with a reputation for political independence who was best known for his advocacy of ecological issues.
Khalid Mahmood, a fellow Muslim MP who has represented Birmingham for 15 years, told The Daily Beast he had been stunned by the decision to target Khan’s religion.