London elects Sadiq Khan, first Muslim mayor, after ugly campaign

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LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Labour's London Mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan and member of Parliament for Tooting walks through East Street Market in Walworth on May 4, 2016 in London, England. Londoners will go to the polls tomorrow to vote for Mayor Of London with Labour's candidate expected to beat Conservative Party rival Zac Goldsmith to the position. (Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

Sadiq Khan, a practicing Muslim and Labour Party politician, has been elected mayor of London, marking a political milestone in the Western world.

Londoners voted in Khan, 45, as the first Muslim mayor of a major Western capital city. He will take office in a metropolis where his fellow Muslims comprise about 12% of the population.
His victory followed an unusually bitter campaign against Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith, the son of a billionaire, in which race and religion have proven ugly flashpoints.

The London-born son of Pakistani immigrants, Khan grew up with his six brothers and sister in a three-bedroom, public housing apartment. He studied law, became a university lecturer and the chairman of a civil liberties group, and was elected to Parliament in 2005.

Khan is replacing incumbent Boris Johnson, a colorful and popular figure who took office in 2008 and was a rare Conservative mayor in the Labour-leaning British capital.

Johnson is leading the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union at a referendum on June 23. He is clashing with Prime Minister David Cameron, who is in favor of the United Kingdom remaining.


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