Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Labour London mayor candidate Sadiq Khan distances himself from ‘unsavoury characters’

    Labour's London Mayor candidate Sadiq Khan (Photo: Twitter/ Sadiq Khan)
    Labour's London Mayor candidate Sadiq Khan (Photo: Twitter/ Sadiq Khan)

    Sadiq Khan has attempted to distance himself from extremists with whom he has been associated.

    Labour's London mayoral candidate said despite having shared platforms with alleged radical clerics, he was the only candidate fit to tackle the surge of Islamist extremism in Britain.

    Mr Khan said “unsavoury” figures including Louis Farrakhan, the controversial American head of the Nation of Islam, were “not my chums”.

    In 2002 Mr Khan - who was a leading human rights lawyer before he became a politician - defended Farrakhan as he battled to overturn a government ban on him entering the country.

    He had been denied entry for expressing racist and antisemitic views. The Board of Deputies had warned that Farrakhan – who called Hitler a “great man” – would harm race relations.

    Khan's former client Louis Farrakhan (Photo: Twitter/ Louis Farrakhan)
    Khan's former client Louis Farrakhan (Photo: Twitter/ Louis Farrakhan)

    Speaking to the JC during a visit to the Community Security Trust on Wednesday, Mr Khan said: “Let me be clear. These aren’t my chums. Some of the meetings that are referred to are meetings that lasted hours and hours. I would turn up, do my spiel and then leave.”

    Mr Khan said he should be judged on his record. “People who know me know that throughout my political life I have been outspoken, often at risk to personal safety and my family’s safety, on issues that matter to me, which are: tackling extremism, tackling radicalisation.”

    He added: “I have never hidden the fact that I used to be a human rights lawyer. I have acted for people who are alleged of committing acts of terror. I think it is unfair to assume the cases I did as a lawyer – particularly in relation to characters who are unsavoury – are representative of the views I’ve got.

    “I have never hidden the fact that I was chair of Liberty. I have never hidden the fact that I campaigned for Babar Ahmed against the US-UK extradition treaty.”

    The CST briefing at the Jewish security charity in Hendon, north-west London, included discussions on safeguarding police funding to protect Jewish schools.

    Mr Khan said: “We have to accept that there are some Londoners who do not subscribe to our way of life – who want to damage and divide communities. We have got to make sure we tackle that.”

Education news

Now high schools get the quiz bug

Simon Rocker

Friday, July 14, 2017

Now high schools get the quiz bug
Analysis

Wanted: governors who last the course

Simon Rocker

Friday, April 28, 2017

Wanted: governors who last the course
Education news

Demand for places in Jewish schools rising

Simon Rocker

Friday, March 17, 2017

Demand for places in Jewish schools rising
Features

Islamic reformer inspired by Progressive rabbis

Gloria Tessler

Friday, June 30, 2017

Islamic reformer inspired by Progressive rabbis
Uk News

Dublin to fly Palestinian flag

Ben Weich

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Dublin to fly Palestinian flag
Education news

Plans ready for new Jewish free school

Simon Rocker

Friday, March 17, 2017

Plans ready for new Jewish free school
Uk News

Hundreds of thousands view Holocaust denial talk

Rosa Doherty

Monday, May 22, 2017

Hundreds of thousands view Holocaust denial talk
Uk News

Livingstone decision shameful, says Tom Watson

Lee Harpin and Marcus Dysch

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Livingstone decision shameful, says Tom Watson
Features

A quiet Shabbat morning revolution in the suburbs

Simon Rocker

Friday, March 17, 2017

A quiet Shabbat morning revolution in the suburbs