Special to WorldTribune.com
The first Muslim elected mayor of a major Western city said Prime Minister David Cameron was following the “Donald Trump playbook” in an attempt to prevent his election.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan on May 7 said Cameron and his Conservative Party tried to divide London’s communities by linking him to Islamic extremists.
“They used fear and innuendo to try to turn different ethnic and religious groups against each other — something straight out of the Donald Trump playbook,” Khan wrote in The Observer newspaper.
“Londoners deserved better and I hope it’s something the Conservative Party will never try to repeat.”
Khan, the 45-year-old son of a Pakistani immigrant bus drive, won 57 percent of the vote in the May 5 mayoral election, securing 1.3 million votes to defeat multimillionaire Tory Zac Goldsmith.
Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said the questions raised about Khan’s ties to Islamists were legitimate.
“Both candidates were asked questions about their backgrounds, their personalities, their judgment, the people they associate with,” Fallon told BBC radio. “That’s the nature of our democracy and the rough-and-tumble of politics.”
Khan admitted that during his previous job as a human rights lawyer he represented some “pretty unsavory characters” but said their views were “abhorrent.”
Khan’s win comes as Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has been battling growing anti-Semitism in the party, which Khan himself criticized, saying the party’s failure to tackle anti-Jewish sentiment was “unacceptable”
“I said from the outset, I’m embarrassed, I’m sorrowful about anti-Semitism in my party,” he added. “I think the Labour leadership could have taken a tougher stance — and should have taken a tougher stance.”
Corbyn did not attend Khan’s signing-in ceremony.
The party “only wins when we face outwards… and engage with all voters”, Khan said, adding, “it’s crucial for the whole country that the Labour party becomes a credible government-in-waiting.”