Sadiq Khan has just been announced as Labour’s London mayoral candidate. At an event at the Royal Festival Hall, the MP for Tooting was announced as the surprising winner by 59 per cent. Turnout in the primary was 77 per cent.
Tessa Jowell was the bookies’ favourite and the frontrunner throughout this contest, but Khan may have benefited from the tens of thousands of new members who have joined Labour to back Jeremy Corbyn for leader. The result wasn’t even close — Jowell came second with 41 per cent. Khan’s camp were confident throughout the contest that the new members would be unlikely to back Blairite Jowell and it appears they are proved right.
Conservatives will be delighted that Labour has chosen Khan as their mayoral candidate. They felt that beating Jowell would be difficult but Khan is a much weaker prospect. His close ties to Ed Miliband is something that will definitely be used against him. Tory strategists are confident that if Zac Goldsmith is chosen as their candidate, a Zac vs. Sadiq contest is one they can definitely win. The London Mayoral contest is going to be very interesting.