London mayor election: Sadiq Khan wins third term despite backlash on emissions charges

Labour mayor wins unprecedented third term with 275,000 majority over his Conservative rival

Sadiq Khan speaks after winning an unprecedented third term as London's mayor. Getty Images
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Sadiq Khan has been re-elected as Mayor of London by more than 275,000 votes, wiping out Labour's overnight fears that his main challenger, Susan Hall, was running a close race.

The vote had been closely watched for evidence of how the Conservative Party was faring in the UK capital, after rumours swirled that Ms Hall could drastically reduce Mr Khan's majority.

Although he appeared to have a strong lead in opinion polls, there were concerns among Muslim voters about Labour’s Gaza policy, and frustrations about Mr Khan’s extension of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez).

In the end, Mr Khan was re-elected with a majority of 275,828 and 43.8 per cent of the votes. He won 1,088,225 votes, with Ms Hall second on 812,397 votes.

“We faced a campaign of non-stop negativity, but I couldn’t be more proud that we answered the fearmongering with facts, hate with hope, and attempts to divide with efforts to unite,” he said.

“We ran a campaign that was in keeping with the spirit and values of this great city, a city that regards our diversity not as a weakness, but as an almighty strength – and one that rejects right hard-wing populism and looks forward, not back.”

Speculation that Ms Hall was doing far better than expected had been rife after voter turnout fell in all of Mr Khan’s key battlegrounds on Thursday, while rising in Tory heartlands.

Nationally, Labour also delivered its latest by-election win and enjoyed local election victories against the Tories, who control the national UK government.

Mr Khan, 53, the first Muslim leader of a western capital, will now take on an unprecedented third term as London Mayor.

Ms Hall had targeted the Ultra Low Emission Zone – a tactic that helped the Tories to an unexpected by-election win last year when Boris Johnson left Parliament – which she had vowed to scrap on day one.

The scheme imposes fees for people driving older and more polluting vehicles, and Mr Khan last year expanded it to cover all of London.

Ms Hall also pledged to cut travel costs on public transport, recruit 1,500 more police officers and focus more on local policing.

In the party selection race, she called herself “the candidate Sadiq Khan fears the most” and he described her unflatteringly as the “most dangerous candidate I have fought against” on the back of her social media posts that supported hard lines on immigration policies.

London-born Ms Hall, 68, has been a member of the London Assembly for five years and is a former leader of the Conservative group. She runs a hair salon in Harrow.

Labour also easily won four other mayoral contests on Saturday: in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, Liverpool and South Yorkshire.

In the West Midlands, Conservative incumbent Andy Street, who was tipped to keep his seat even as the night turned sour elsewhere, lost by just 1,508 votes.

“This phenomenal result was beyond our expectations,” Labour party leader Keir Starmer said in Birmingham.

“People across the country have had enough of Conservative chaos and decline and voted for change with Labour. Our fantastic new mayor Richard Parker stands ready to deliver a fresh start for the West Midlands.”

Of the 11 mayors elected, only one, Ben Houchen in Tees Valley, is a Conservative.

Updated: May 06, 2024, 9:28 AM