Sadiq Aman Khan (born 8 October 1970) is a British politician who has been the Mayor of London since May 2016. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tooting from 2005 to 2016. A member of the Labour Party, he is situated on the party’s soft left and has been ideologically characterised as a social democrat.
Born in London to a working-class British Pakistani family, Khan gained a degree in Law from the University of North London. He subsequently worked as a solicitor specialising in human rights, and chaired Liberty for three years. Joining Labour, Khan was a Councillor for the London Borough of Wandsworth from 1994 to 2006 before being elected MP for Tooting in 2005. Under the Labour government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown he was appointed Minister of State for Communities in 2008, later becoming Minister of State for Transport. A key ally of Labour leader Ed Miliband, he served in Miliband’s Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, Shadow Lord Chancellor, and Shadow Minister for London.
Khan was elected Mayor of London in the 2016 mayoral election, succeeding Conservative Party Mayor Boris Johnson. He announced that he would resign as MP for Tooting “as soon as possible”. His election as Mayor of London made him the first Muslim to become mayor of a major Western capital.
His grandparents migrated from India to Pakistan following the partition of India in 1947, and his parents migrated to England from Pakistan shortly before Khan was born. His late father, Amanullah Khan, worked as a bus driver for over 25 years; his mother, Sehrun, was a seamstress
Khan and his siblings grew up in a three-bedroom council flat on the Henry Prince Estate in Earlsfield. He attended Fircroft Primary School and then Ernest Bevin School (now Ernest Bevin College), a local comprehensive. Khan studied science and mathematics at A-level, in the hope of eventually qualifying as a dentist. A teacher recommended that he read law, as he had an argumentative personality. The teacher’s suggestion, along with the American television programme L.A. Law, inspired Khan to do so. He entered the University of North London to study law]
From his earliest years, Khan worked: “I was surrounded by my mum and dad working all the time, so as soon as I could get a job, I got a job. I got a paper round, a Saturday job – some summers I laboured on a building site.” The family continues to send money to relatives in Pakistan, “because we’re blessed being in this country.” He and his family often encountered racism, which led to him and his brothers taking up boxing at the Earlsfield Amateur Boxing Club. While studying for his degree, from the age of 18 to 21, he worked on Saturdays at the Peter Jones department store in Sloane Square.