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11 Jul 2018

- This Mayor Named Sadiq Khan Battled Against Trump And Won

This Mayor Named Sadiq Khan Battled Against Trump And Won
The Mayor of London was recently asked what he would do were Donald Trump to visit his city.

Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim to lead not just the UK capital but any major western national capital city, would have been forgiven for a dismissive reply.

He has been the target of belligerent, racism-tinged tweets from the US President numerous times since winning City Hall in 2016 with an astounding 1.3 million votes, the largest personal mandate in British political history.

But instead, the former human rights lawyer, who as the leader of a city plagued by knife crime is not without his critics, answered with a classy response that typified his ongoing feud with Trump.

“I’d take him to the most diverse parts of London, where you can be who you are and be not just tolerated but respected, celebrated and embraced,” he said.

Trump has finally secured the trip to Great Britain he has longed for, which will include tea with the Queen, a military parade and a press conference with Prime Minister Theresa May.

But it’s not the state visit Trump wanted or that May promised on her visit to Washington in 2017. There will be no carriage ride with the Queen, an honour bestowed on the likes of Vladimir Putin and George W Bush. No visit to Buckingham Palace or even a trip to May’s official 10 Downing Street London residence. And no photo ops in front of the numerous famous landmarks that dominate London.

I’d take [Trump] to the most diverse parts of London, where you can be who you are and be not just tolerated but respected, celebrated and embraced



The mood in Khan’s city is illustrated by the advice of the president’s own embassy in London, which has warned US citizens to keep a low profile during Trump’s visit in case protests against him turn violent.

In fact, the remarkably low-key visit will be conducted almost entirely behind closed doors, and notably sees the Commander in Chief almost completely avoid central London, doubtless for fear of encountering some 50,000 protesters and a giant orange ‘Trump baby’ balloon floating over Westminster.

Trump’s reluctance to venture onto his patch could at the most be seen as a victory for Khan, or at the very least, a decision that likely suits the 47-year-old just fine.




London’s Mayor has the potential, and ambition, to be prime minister one day, but carving a path to Downing Street is a tough gig for centre-left politicians like Khan when his Labour Party is being transformed by leader Jeremy Corbyn into a more radical, leftist movement.

Retaining a high-profile persona is key and clashes with the most-powerful (and, for many, most-hated) figure in the world do Brand Khan no harm. It’s a stunning contrast between the two men that while Trump was demonising immigrants and calling Mexicans “rapists” during his campaign, Khan on the other hand, never missed an opportunity to remind voters that he was the son of a Pakistani bus driver.

His ascent to such a coveted role, held during the London 2012 Olympics by Brexit champion and Trump ally Boris Johnson, by no means felt irresistible when Khan was a Labour MP for London’s Tooting electorate in 2005.

When Labour failed to hang on to power in the 2010 General Election, Khan’s career was left languishing on the opposition benches and when he sought his party’s London mayoral candidacy, he was seen as an outside bet next to the highly-respected Olympics bidder Tessa Jowell.