Sadiq Khan undecided who to support in Labour leadership race

1 January 2020, 06:32

The London Mayor has not decided who he will support in the battle to replace Jeremy Corbyn
The London Mayor has not decided who he will support in the battle to replace Jeremy Corbyn. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

London's Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan has said he hasn't yet decided who he will support as the race to be the party's next leader begins.

Mr Khan said he is "fed up of losing" and his vote for the person who will succeed Jeremy Corbyn will be reserved for the candidate who understands the party "lost the argument" on December 12.

Speaking to reporters in central London on New Year's Eve, Mr Khan reflected on Labour's "catastrophic" loss in the general election and looked ahead to the London mayoral election in 2020.

"Our next leader needs to understand that we lost, needs to have a proper explanation and analysis of how we lost, and how we're going to route back to victory," he said.

"We've now lost four in a row, I'm not somebody who ascribes to heroic failure.

"Every time we lose, we let down millions of people across our country, and so the key thing for the next leader is to set out our stall - how we will win the next general election.

"Whoever he or she is needs to unite our country, unite those who voted Leave with those who wanted to Remain, unite the north with the south, unite London with the rest of the country.

"I've not decided who I'm going to support, but he or she needs to be somebody who's a winner, because I'm fed up of losing."

In the meantime, Mr Khan faces a challenge of his own as he prepares to fight the London mayoral race and retain his post.

Ahead of the election in May, Mr Khan added he has spent the last four years "being the best mayor (he) can be" and said he was optimistic "real progress" will be made on tackling violent crime in 2020.

"The key thing is now that we have persuaded the government to recognise there's a link between the cuts they've made and the increase in violent crime across the country, to get them to actually work with us on the issue of violent crime, which is an issue that affects the whole country, including London," he said.

"We're making some progress but we need to do far more and far better.

"I'm hoping that since this Prime Minister accepts there's a link and wants to invest in policing, we start making real progress.

"Another thing we're going to do is to make sure we continue bearing down on the poor air quality in our city."