Results initially looked tight before the Khan took a strong lead on Saturday afternoon (Picture: Reuters)
Sadiq Khan has won a second term as Mayor of London after surging ahead of Tory rival Shaun Bailey.
The Labour incumbent won by 55.2% to Bailey’s 44.8% in a result which had been widely predicted, although his winning margin was smaller than his victory five years ago.
He tweeted: ‘Thank you London. It’s the absolute honour of my life to serve the city I love for another three years. I’ll leave no stone unturned to get our city back on its feet. A brighter future is possible, and we’ll deliver it together.’
In his post-election speech, he also said he wanted to ‘build the bridges that bring us together, rather than the walls that keep us apart’.
He vowed to build ‘a better and brighter future’ for London after the ‘dark days of the pandemic’.
‘The results of the elections around the UK show that our country – and even our city – remain deeply divided,’ he said.
‘The scars of Brexit are yet to heal, a crude culture war is pushing us further apart, there’s a growing gap between our cities and towns.
‘And economic inequality is getting worse – both within London and between different parts of our country.
Labour’s Sadiq Khan arriving at City Hall for the declaration for the next Mayor of London (Picture: PA)
‘So as we now seek to confront the enormity of the challenge ahead and as we endeavour to rebuild from this pandemic, we simply must use this moment of national recovery to heal these damaging divisions.’
Mr Khan gained 1,013,721 first preference votes compared to his nearest challenger’s 893,051.
He received 192,313 second preference votes, with Mr Bailey picking up 84,550.
Results initially looked tight before Khan took a five-point lead on Saturday afternoon.
Sadiq Khan celebrates after being declared the winner of the London Mayoral election (Picture: AFP)
The race has been much closer than people thought, considering some in Bailey’s own party had written him off, while a Labour source said turnout and voter complacency could be a problem.
In a speech from City Hall following his defeat, Mr Bailey thanked his supporters for not dismissing him.
He said: ‘As I went through these, for me what was two years of campaigning, one feeling felt familiar to me, one challenge had always felt the same.
‘And that was the feeling of being written off – by pollsters, by journalists, by fellow politicians.
‘But it’s no surprise to me that Londoners didn’t write me off.’
Shaun Bailey thanked supporters for not ‘writing him off’ (Picture: Getty)
Mr Khan was virtually guaranteed a second term after holding Barnet and Camden, a marginal seat which had to swing decisively to Mr Bailey to give the Conservative any hope of a comeback.
The London mayor has faced criticism over rising violent crime in the capital, particularly stabbings involving teenagers. His record on the issue and other security issues led to a series of angry Twitter spats with former US President Donald Trump.
His re-election campaign has focused on jobs, with an emphasis on promoting tourism and investment to help the 300,000 Londoners who lost work during the pandemic.
Mr Khan was first elected mayor of the capital in 2016 in a landslide victory, breaking the Conservatives’ eight-year hold on City Hall.
His victory comes after a bruising set of results for Labour in the local elections across the country.
As well as the shock defeat in the Hartlepoolby-election, Labour had a net loss of six councils and more than 200 seats in the local elections, losing control of the likes of Harrow, Essex, and Plymouth local authorities in the process.
The party also failed to topple Tory mayoral incumbents in the Tees Valley and the West Midlands, although did produce a surprise victory in the West of England mayoral contest and comfortable wins in Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region.
Despite some success stories, it was plunged into chaos on Saturday night as sources revealed Deputy leader Angela Rayner had been sacked as party chair and coordinator.
The shock move sparked a major row at the top of the party, with critics accusing Keir Starmer of using his second in command as a scape goat for his election misfortunes.
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