Politics

Sadiq Khan rules out ever returning to Parliament

The Mayor of London said he has four more terms left in him, ahead of next May's elections

Sadiq Khan

Khan is seeking a record third term as Mayor of London. Image: Greater London Authority

Sadiq Khan has long been touted as a Labour leader in waiting, the man who can get the party back into power. But speaking to The Big Issue, the Mayor of London has ruled out a return to Parliament.

Khan was MP for Tooting from 2005-16 and served as a transport minister in Gordon Brown’s government. Along with Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, recent years have been filled with speculation that he could return to Westminster when the time is right.

The 53-year-old’s spokesperson had previously said he had “absolutely no plans” to run for Parliament. But plans can change. Asked if he would ever return to Parliament for a forthcoming interview in the Big Issue magazine, out on Monday 25 May, Khan said: “No.”

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Instead, Khan was adamant he wanted four more terms running London.

He added: “The reason I’m so excited to run for a third term is the possibility of a Labour government that’s pro-London devolving more powers and resources to – not just London – but to Manchester, Birmingham, West Yorkshire, Newcastle.”

“I think if taking back control – which is what the Brexit campaign was about – is to be meaningful, it shouldn’t be from Brussels to Whitehall, it should be Brussels to Whitehall to all the country.”

Khan is running for a record third term as London mayor, a post he has held since 2016. His time in City Hall has been accompanied by a narrative that he is the politician to take Labour back into power.

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But compared to Burnham – who said last year he would “one day” consider the top job, Khan insisted he will not return to Westminster.

Under Keir Starmer’s leadership, Labour enjoys a 17-point lead in the polls and is pitching itself as a “government in waiting” after 13 years without power.

As he gears up for a re-election battle in May 2024, Khan has written a new book, Breathe, detailing his efforts to tackle air pollution in London.

Read our full interview with Khan in next week’s Big Issue magazine, on sale from Monday 29 May.

Breathe: Tackling the Climate Emergency by Sadiq Khan is out on 25 May 2023 (Hutchinson Heinemann, £16.99)

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