London chooses Labour mayor who backs a co-op future

Labour’s Sadiq Khan, who has pledged a number of co-operative proposals for London, has been elected mayor of the capital. In the lead up to the election, he unveiled a manifesto...

Labour’s Sadiq Khan, who has pledged a number of co-operative proposals for London, has been elected mayor of the capital. In the lead up to the election, he unveiled a manifesto “for all Londoners”, which included proposals for co-operative, mutual and not-for-profit organisations.

Mr Khan, who has been the MP for Tooting since the 2005 general election, also represented Tooting as a councillor for the London Borough of Wandsworth from 1994 to 2006. On 5 May he took 1,310,143 of the mayoral votes after second preferences were taken into account, beating Conservative Zac Goldsmith into second place with a margin of victory of 13.6%. The tally gave him the largest personal mandate of any politician in UK history.

“I’m deeply humbled by the hope and trust you’ve put in me today,” Mr Khan said in his victory speech. “I have a burning ambition for London, an ambition that will guide me every day as mayor of London.” This ambition includes giving Londoners “a decent and affordable home and a comfortable commute you can afford” as well as “more jobs with better pay”.

He also referred to his humble origins on a council estate and said he had never imagined that “someone like me could be elected as mayor of London”.

Writing for Co-operative News last month Mr Khan said: “London gave me the chance to go from a council estate to helping to run a successful business and serving as a transport minister […] My ambition is to ensure that all Londoners have the same opportunities to get on in life that our city gave me.”

Mr Khan said this ambition drew inspiration from the co-operative sector, “which in London contains hundreds of thousands of member-owners and hundreds of small- and medium sized community-led enterprises.”

One of his own first experiences in the workplace was in the employee-owned John Lewis Partnership.

“The wider co-operative movement in London has always been at the forefront of inclusive and shared business practices, which can play a key role in the capital’s future success,” said Mr Khan, adding that co-operative housing, community energy and a not-for-profit mutual bus sector would be priorities. “Community-led mutual bus services are delivering services in the capital already, but I want to see more,”  he said.

“Through these proposals and many others, we can make a real difference and demonstrate how co-operative values and principles can play an active and positive role in the future of London and all Londoners.”

Labour loses ground in Wales – but Co-op numbers increase

Speaking of the wider election results, Claire McCarthy, Co-operative Party general secretary, said it was “encouraging to see the number of Co-operative Party representatives increase at all levels of government”.

“Our group of Welsh Assembly members is now the largest ever, and our representation in Scotland has doubled. In local government too, we were pleased to see pioneering co-operative councils such as Milton Keynes, Stevenage and Newcastle remain under Labour & Co-operative Control, with our overall number of councillors across England also increasing.

“Whether in government or opposition, we are looking forward to working with our newly elected and re-elected representatives – and indeed with co-operators of all parties – to ensure the co-operative movement has a strong voice in the rooms where decisions are made.”

Co-operative Party wins eight seats in Scottish election

Labour mayors were also elected in Liverpool (Joe Anderson) and Salford (Paul Dennett), with mayoral results from Bristol expected on Saturday afternoon.

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