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Khan announces Labour mayoral bid

Sadiq Khan has announced his bid to run as Labour's candidate for mayor of London as party colleague Diane Abbott also threw her hat into the ring.

The former shadow justice secretary and MP for Tooting, tweeted: "I'll roll up my sleeves and fight for all Londoners #TogetherWeKhan."

Ms Abbott, the long-serving MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, earlier formally launched her campaign to be selected as the party's candidate, saying the capital needed a mayor "who will stand up for the interests of those increasingly left behind".

Announcing his candidacy, Mr Khan branded current Conservative mayor Boris Johnson a "red carpet mayor", adding that he had a "big tent" and was looking forward to having an "inclusive" campaign.

In an online interview with the London Evening Standard, Mr Khan said: "We've had for the last eight years a mayor who has been very funny, he has been very entertaining, but he has been a red carpet mayor.

"I don't want to be a red carpet mayor. I think openings and drinking champagne from nice glasses is one thing. I'm going to roll up my sleeves and get the best for London. That's the sort of candidate I'm going to be, that's the sort of mayor I hope to be."

Newly elected Tory MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, Mr Johnson was first elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012, but will step down as mayor in May next year when his second term ends.

The Labour Party's primary process for selecting its mayoral candidate officially begins today.

Ms Abbott, an MP since 1987 vowed to be the "genuinely independently minded mayor that London needs".

She said: "Hard times call for a campaigning mayor. Now more than ever our city needs a mayor who will stand up for the interests of those increasingly left behind.

"But, as the MP for Hackney, I have always worked to bring all our communities together. And that is the kind of mayor that I will be.

"Above all, I will be the genuinely independently minded mayor that London needs."

Other Labour hopefuls include ex-MP for Dulwich and West Norwood and former culture secretary and Olympics minister Dame Tessa Jowell, MP for Tottenham David Lammy, and Christian Wolmar.

Mr Wolmar, a journalist specialising in rail, said: "The capital needs a mayor who puts communities back at the centre of decision making and who tackles the affordability crisis before it becomes too late.

"That's why my campaign will be based on three key areas: making London more affordable, liveable and sustainable."


From Belfast Telegraph