Sadiq Khan may have suffered 'heart attack' at COP26 in Glasgow and had to be helped off stage

22 May 2023, 10:50

The Mayor of London made the revelation in his new book Breathe
The Mayor of London made the revelation in his new book Breathe. Picture: Getty/PA
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Sadiq Khan has said he may have suffered a "minor heart attack" after feeling a "knot" in his chest while on stage at COP26 in Glasgow.

While at the climate conference in 2021, the mayor of London said "out of nowhere, I felt a knot in my chest – a kind of tightening" before being helped off stage.

"It was COP26 in Glasgow and I seemed to be having a heart attack," Mr Khan says in his new book, Breathe, which will published this week.

Those close to the mayor said he was not put on heart-related medication following the incident, which took place 18 months ago, the Standard reports.

They did confirm that he has regular check-ups after developing asthma in 2014.

Sadiq Khan at COP26 in Glasgow
Sadiq Khan at COP26 in Glasgow. Picture: PA

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Mr Khan says he spent some seven hours in A&E in Glasgow, where he underwent an electrocardiogram (ECG).

The tests detected "a protein called troponin, which is released into the blood after unusual heart activity", Mr Khan said.

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"There was a possibility that earlier that evening I’d had a minor heart attack," he added.

"I couldn’t believe it," he said. "I felt fine. I simply didn’t believe I had had a heart attack. The whole situation felt unreal. In a matter of hours, I was due to give perhaps the biggest address of my mayoralty.

"And yet here I was in Glasgow Royal Infirmary, half of my body in suit trousers and the other in a hospital gown, waiting to be told if I was going to be admitted for urgent treatment."

Mr Khan has also said he has been left with PTSD after dealing with regular death threats, terror attacks and disasters.

A number of events he has faced during his time in City Hall have had a "cumulative" effect on his mental health, he said, but stressed he wouldn't compare his experience with the disorder to the anguish suffered by others, including asylum seekers and refugees he has worked with.

He has also spoken about the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on his mental state, revealing that he felt he had "lost his mojo" during lockdown.

Such is the level of threat the former government minister faces that he described his security detail as being "the same level of protection the prime minister and the King receive", the Guardian reports.

The revelations come as Mr Khan prepares to re-run as mayor of London next year, which would be a record third term.

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