Sadiq Khan

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This article is about the British politician. For the 18th-century shah of Persia, see Sadiq Khan Zand.
The Right Honourable
Sadiq Khan
Sadiq Khan.jpg
Shadow Minister for London
In office
16 January 2013 – 11 May 2015
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Tessa Jowell
Succeeded by TBA
Shadow Secretary of State for Justice
Shadow Lord Chancellor
In office
8 October 2010 – 11 May 2015
Leader Ed Miliband
Preceded by Jack Straw
Succeeded by The Lord Falconer of Thoroton
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
In office
14 May 2010 – 8 October 2010
Leader Harriet Harman
Ed Miliband
Preceded by The Lord Adonis
Succeeded by Maria Eagle
Minister of State for Transport
In office
8 June 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by The Lord Adonis
Succeeded by Theresa Villiers
Minister of State for Communities
In office
4 October 2008 – 8 June 2009
Prime Minister Gordon Brown
Preceded by Parmjit Dhanda
Succeeded by Shahid Malik
Member of Parliament
for Tooting
Assumed office
5 May 2005
Preceded by Tom Cox
Majority 2,842 (5.3%)
Personal details
Born (1970-10-08) 8 October 1970 (age 44)
London, United Kingdom
Political party Labour
Alma mater University of North London
College of Law
Religion Islam[1]

Sadiq Aman Khan (born 8 October 1970) is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tooting since 2005.

In 2008 he was appointed Minister of State for Communities by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, making him the second-ever British Pakistani to serve in Her Majesty's Government. He was later the Minister of State for Transport.

He joined the Shadow Cabinet of Ed Miliband as Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Shadow Lord Chancellor in 2010.[2] On 16 January 2013 he was also appointed Shadow Minister for London.[3] On 11 May 2015 he resigned from his position in the Shadow Cabinet.

Early life[edit]

Khan was born in 1970 in London, to a family of Pakistani immigrants with eight children.[4] His father worked as a bus driver and his mother a seamstress. He grew up in a council flat on the Henry Prince Estate in Earlsfield, and attended Fircroft Primary School and Ernest Bevin College, before going to the University of North London to study law.

He was a visiting lecturer at the University of North London, and a former governor of South Thames FE College. Khan served as Vice Chair of the Legal Action Group (LAG). He served as Chair of the civil liberties pressure group Liberty (NCCL) for three years.

Legal career[edit]

Before entering parliament in 2005, Khan was a human rights solicitor.

He completed the Law Society finals at the College of Law in Guildford. From 1994 to 1997, he was employed as a trainee solicitor and assistant solicitor at the firm of Christian Fisher. From 1997 to 2005, he served as a partner in the firm Christian Khan with Louise Christian.[5]

During his legal career specialised in actions against the police, employment and discrimination law, judicial reviews, inquests and crime, and was involved in a number of landmark cases including the following:

  • Bubbins vs The United Kingdom (European Court of Human Rights – shooting of an unarmed individual by police marksmen)[6]
  • HSU and Thompson v Met Police (wrongful arrest/police damages)[7]
  • Reeves v Met Police (duty of care to prisoners)[8]
  • Murray v CAB (discrimination)[9]
  • Ahmed v University of Oxford (racial discrimination against a student)[10]
  • Dr Jadhav v Secretary of State for Health (racial discrimination in the employment of Indian doctors by the health service)[11]
  • CI Logan v Met Police (racial discrimination)[12]
  • Supt Dizaei v Met Police (police damages, discrimination)[13]
  • Inquest into the death of David Rocky Bennett (use of restraints)[14]
  • Lead solicitor on Mayday demonstration 2001 test case litigation (Human Right Act)[15]
  • Farakhan v Home Secretary (Human Rights Act)[16]
  • In February 2000, Khan represented a group of Kurdish actors who were arrested by Metropolitan Police during a rehearsal of the Harold Pinter play 'Mountain Language', securing £150,000 in damages for the group for wrongful arrest and the trauma caused by their arrest.[17]
  • Mcdowell and Taylor v Met Police: Leroy McDowell and his friend Wayne Taylor, who both suffer from the blood disorder sickle cell anaemia, successfully sued the Metropolitan Police for assault and false imprisonment.[18]

Political career[edit]


Khan was a Councillor in the London Borough of Wandsworth from 1994 to 2006, representing Tooting. He was made an Honorary Alderman of Wandsworth upon his retirement.

Member of Parliament[edit]

In 2003, Tooting Constituency Labour Party decided to open its parliamentary selection to all interested candidates, including the incumbent MP since 1974, Tom Cox. This prompted Cox, then in his mid-70s, to announce his retirement rather than risk de-selection. In the subsequent selection contest, Khan beat five other local candidates to become Labour's candidate for the seat. He was subsequently elected to Parliament in 2005.

Khan was awarded the "Newcomer of the Year Award" at the 2005 Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year Awards "for the tough-mindedness and clarity with which he has spoken about the very difficult issues of Islamic terror".[19] In August 2006, he was a signatory of an open letter to Tony Blair criticising the UK's foreign policy.[20]

On 3 February 2008, The Sunday Times[21] claimed that a conversation between Khan and prisoner Babar Ahmad – a friend and constituent – at Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes had been bugged by the Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorist Branch.[22] An inquiry was launched by Justice Secretary Jack Straw.[22] There was some concern that the bugging contravened the Wilson Doctrine that police should not bug MPs. The report concluded that the Doctrine did not apply because it was ordered by a police officer and not an MP.[23]

In 2010, Khan was re-elected as the MP for Tooting despite a swing against him of 3.6% and a halving of his previous majority. In the subsequent Labour leadership election Khan was an early backer of Ed Miliband, and was later appointed his campaign manager.[24] Khan masterminded Miliband's shock win over his older brother David, and was tipped as a future rising star of the Labour Party, jumping 82 places in one year to 16th in The Daily Telegraph's 'top 100 most influential left-wingers' poll.

In the UK general election 2015, Khan was re-elected for his third term as the MP for Tooting, beating his Conservative rival marginally.


Khan speaking in 2011

Following Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Cabinet reshuffle of 3 October 2008, Khan was appointed Minister of State for Communities, replacing Parmjit Dhanda, and becoming only the second Muslim ever to serve in the UK Government. In the House of Commons in January 2009, Khan criticised the Pope for the rehabilitation of Bishop Richard Williamson following his remarks about the Holocaust, a move he described as "highly unsavoury" and of "great concern".[25]

In 2009, he became the first Muslim to ever attend a meeting of the Cabinet upon his appointment as Minister of State for Transport.[26] In what was believed to be a first for an MP, Khan used his Twitter account to announce his promotion to Transport Minister.[27]

In March 2010, he publicly stated that for the second year in a row he would not be taking a pay rise as MP or Minister, saying "At a time when many people in Tooting and throughout the country are having to accept pay freezes I don't think it's appropriate for MPs to accept a pay rise."[28] For the first fifteen months he served in the Government, he did not take any ministerial salary.

Shadow Cabinet[edit]

In the wake of Labour's 2010 election defeat, acting leader Harriet Harman promoted Khan to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Transport.[29] After running Ed Miliband's successful leadership campaign, Khan was rewarded with the senior roles of Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice. He was made the Shadow Minister for London, in addition to his other roles, in 2013.

He is regularly named as one of the top 100 most influential London politicians in the Evening Standard's annual poll of the most influential 1000 Londoners[30] and is an ambassador for Mosaic, an initiative set up by Prince Charles.

Potential London Mayor Candidate[edit]

In 2013, Sadiq Khan appeared on a number of speaker platforms and in the press discussing the London 2016 Mayoral election, and was quoted in the Evening Standard saying he would consider running for Mayor.

In 2015, he announced that he would officially stand to be the Labour candidate for London Mayor, being listed as third most likely to be Mayor, and second most likely to be the Labour mayoral candidate.

Expenses re-payments[edit]

Khan had to repay £500 in expenses in 2007 in relation to a newsletter sent out constituents featuring a 'Labour rose', which was deemed to be unduly prominent. While the content of the newsletter was not deemed to be party political, the rose logo was found to be unduly prominent which may have had the effect of promoting a political party. The rules were retrospectively changed disallowing the claim, which had previously been approved by the House of Commons Authorities.[31][32] There was no suggestion that Khan had deliberately or dishonestly compiled his expenses claims and the only claim to the contrary came from his opponent at the general election in 2010.

In April 2010 it was revealed that Khan had repaid wrongly claimed expenses on two further occasions. The first incident concerned letters sent out before the General Election which were ruled to have the 'unintentional effect of promoting his return to office', the second a £2,550 repayment for Christmas, Eid, and birthday cards for constituents.[33] Under Commons rules, pre-paid envelopes and official stationery can only be used for official parliamentary business.[34][35][36] Khan's claim for the birthday cards was initially rejected, but he presented a new invoice no longer identifying the nature of the claim, and this was accepted. Khan apologised for breaking the expenses rules.[37][38][38]

London Marathon Tweet[edit]

In March 2014 Khan apologised after posting an image on Twitter of a London Marathon sponsorship note sent to him from former Labour leader Lord Kinnock, which joked about Conservative MP Eric Pickles dying by stating that 'get Pickles to go with you so we have a helpful by-election...' Pickles accepted the apology and stated that 'so far as I am concerned the matter is closed.'[39][40]

Personal life[edit]

Khan has been married since 1994 and has two daughters. He is a keen follower of sport and a supporter of both Liverpool FC and Surrey County Cricket Club.

He is a governor of Fircroft School and of Gatton School, both are in Tooting.

He has also served as Chair of the Fabian Society,[41] and remains on its Executive Committee. In 2009 he won the prestigious Jenny Jeger award for best Fabian pamphlet, for his publication 'Fairness not Favours: How to re-connect with British Muslims'. He also edited the Fabian essay collection 'Our London: the capital beyond 2015'.

In 2013 he received death threats over his vote in favour of the same-sex marriage bill.[42]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Khan, Sadiq. "Question Time". Retrieved 29 September 2010. 
  2. ^ "Ex-Home Secretary Johnson is named shadow chancellor". BBC News. 8 October 2010. 
  3. ^ "Ed Miliband asks Sadiq Khan to lead London election campaign". London Evening Standard. 
  4. ^ Rowena Mason and Simon Hattenstone (31 May 2015). "Sadiq Khan says 'aspiration' will be Labour leadership race's most overused word". The Observer. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  5. ^ Imran Khan and Partners Solicitors. "Departure of Sadiq Khan – ::Imran Khan and Partners Solicitors, London, UK::". 
  6. ^ Martin, Neil (24 February 2006). "Bubbins v United Kingdom: Civil Remedies and the Right to Life – Martin – 2006 beav". Modern Law Review (Wiley Online Library) 69 (2): 242–249. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2230.2006.00583_1.x. 
  7. ^ Magrath, Paul (28 February 1997). "Law report: Juries to be given guidance on awards against police". The Independent (London). 
  8. ^ Law Lords Department. "House of Lords – Commissioners of Police for the Metropolis v. Reeves (A.P.) (Joint Administratix of the Estate of Martin Lynch, Deceased)". Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  9. ^ "Latest British Employment Law News". Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  10. ^ "Latest British Employment Law News". Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  11. ^ "Jadhav v Secretary of State for Health". Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  12. ^ "Black officer's 'six figure sum' payout". BBC News. 13 November 2003. 
  13. ^ Ali Dizaei
  14. ^ "David 'Rocky' Bennett Inquiry Report. News from Christian Khan Solicitors, London UK". 5 February 2004. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  15. ^ "Austin and another v Metropolitan Police Commissioner – [2009] All ER (D) 227 (Jan)". 28 January 2009. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  16. ^ "Farrakhan UK ban overturned". BBC News. 31 July 2001. 
  17. ^ Verkaik, Robert (2 February 2000). "£150,000 for police raid on Kurdish Pinter play". The Independent (London). [dead link]
  18. ^ "Analysis: Officers' fear of being branded racist has done little to reduce bias over suspects". The Independent (London). 8 November 2002. 
  19. ^ "Parliamentarian of the Year". The Spectator. 19 November 2005. Archived from the original on 16 June 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  20. ^ "Minister criticises Muslim letter". BBC News. 12 August 2006. Archived from the original on 8 November 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  21. ^ Michael Gillard; Jonathan Calvert (3 February 2008). "Police bugged Muslim MP Sadiq Khan". The Sunday Times (London). 
  22. ^ a b "Khan welcomes 'bugging' inquiry". BBC News. 3 February 2008. Archived from the original on 25 March 2009. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  23. ^ Dodd, Vikram (22 February 2008). "Bugging of MP on prison visit did not break the rules, inquiry finds". The Guardian (London). Archived from the original on 31 August 2014. Retrieved 4 July 2009. 
  24. ^ Harding, Eleanor (15 May 2010). "EXCLUSIVE: 'I'm backing Ed Miliband', says Sadiq Khan MP". Your Local Guardian (Wandsworth). Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. 
  25. ^ Prince, Rosa (29 January 2009). "Minister criticises Pope for pardoning Holocaust denial bishop". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 14 November 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2009. 
  26. ^ Harding, Eleanor (6 June 2009). "Tooting MP Sadiq Khan named first Muslim cabinet minister in Gordon Brown's reshuffle". The Wandsworth Guardian. Retrieved 6 June 2009. 
  27. ^ Banerjee, Subhajit (7 June 2009). "Minister appointment on Twitter". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 14 November 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  28. ^ "Minister: All MPs should give up their Ł1,000 pay rise". London Evening Herald. 8 March 2010. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  29. ^ "Exclusive: 'Bitter-sweet' promotion for Sadiq Khan MP". Wandsworth Guardian. 14 May 2010. Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2010. 
  30. ^ "London's 1000 most influential people 2010: Politics". London Evening Standard. 26 November 2010. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  31. ^ "Microsoft Word - Baker-Bruce-Khan - CRC Rep.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  32. ^ "Minister's rose emblem broke rule". BBC News. 13 December 2007. Archived from the original on 17 October 2010. Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  33. ^ Kirkup, James (12 April 2010). "General election 2010: Transport minister Sadiq Khan in election expenses row". The Daily Telegraph (London). Archived from the original on 23 November 2011. Retrieved 25 April 2010. 
  34. ^ Beckford, Martin (9 December 2010). "MPs' expenses: 17 MPs were re-elected after secret deals on expenses". The Daily Telegraph (London). Archived from the original on 13 November 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  35. ^ Beckford, Martin (10 December 2010). "MPs' expenses: the secret deals revealed". The Daily Telegraph (London). Archived from the original on 14 December 2010. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  36. ^ "'Secretly' resolved MPs' expenses cases made public". The Guardian (London). 9 December 2010. Archived from the original on 13 December 2010. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  37. ^ Brown, David (16 March 2010). "Transport Minister Sadiq Khan repays 2500 wrongly claimed on expenses". The Times (London). 
  38. ^ a b "Minister repays £2,500 expenses". BBC News. 15 March 2010. Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  39. ^ "Sadiq Khan and Neil Kinnock apologise over Eric Pickles death joke". The Daily Telegraph. 27 March 2014. Archived from the original on 27 March 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  40. ^ Beattie, Jason (27 March 2014). "Labour MP Sadiq Khan "sorry" for joke tweet about Tory heavyweight Eric Pickles dying". Daily Mirror. Archived from the original on 28 March 2014. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  41. ^ "Executive Committee – The Fabian Society – where the British left thinks". Archived from the original on 11 October 2010. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  42. ^ Roberts, Scott (18 February 2008). "Labour MP Sadiq Khan receives death threats for supporting same-sex marriage". Pink News. Archived from the original on 21 February 2013. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Tom Cox
Member of Parliament
for Tooting

Political offices
Preceded by
Parmjit Dhanda
Minister of State for Communities
Succeeded by
Shahid Malik
Preceded by
The Lord Adonis
Minister of State for Transport
Succeeded by
Theresa Villiers
Preceded by
The Lord Adonis
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport
Succeeded by
Maria Eagle
Preceded by
Jack Straw
Shadow Secretary of State for Justice
Succeeded by
The Lord Falconer of Thoroton
Shadow Lord Chancellor
Preceded by
Tessa Jowell
Shadow Minister for London
Succeeded by