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Mayor Sadiq Khan ‘focused on delivering for Londoners’ amid Labour leader race

Mr Khan said he is ‘absolutely’ more interested in continuing at City Hall.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

By Caitlin Doherty, PA

Sadiq Khan appears to have ruled himself out of the Labour leadership race, saying he is more interested in winning a second term as mayor of London.

The race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn following Labour’s largest general election defeat since 1935 is under way, but Mr Khan said he is “absolutely” more interested in continuing at City Hall.

He said on Monday: “I think we showed in 2016 the difference winning elections makes by winning the mayoralty after eight years of a Conservative mayor.

“We’ve showed over the last four years the difference Labour winning can do.”

The former MP for Tooting won the mayoralty in 2016, following on from now-Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

He added: “My focus is on delivering for Londoners and when the campaign begins next year to win the mayoral election, so we can continue improving people’s lives for the better.”

Mr Khan said Mr Corbyn should step away from the leadership “sooner rather than later”, but did not specifically name any potential candidates who would have his support.

Instead, he encouraged the next leader to be reflective about last week’s election results.

He said: “I think any of the candidates who straight away gives an explanation for why we lost, I question their credibility.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s really important for the next leader of the Labour Party to be a winner.

“We’ve got to start winning general elections, not losing them.

“I don’t believe in heroic failure, we don’t improve anybody’s lives by losing elections.”

Mr Corbyn said he will stand down in the early part of next year after overseeing a “process of reflection” within the party.

Labour’s general secretary Jennie Formby reportedly wrote to the party’s ruling National Executive Committee recommending the contest starts on January 7, with the view of having a new leader by the end of March.

PA

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