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LONDON: London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is set to run for re-election on Thursday, has come out of the depths of humility with prime ministers and presidents since taking charge of the British capital five years ago.
Returning to City Hall for a second term is the 50-year-old politician from the main opposition Labor Party, a former human rights lawyer debating in a London public housing complex.
It will continue a remarkable journey for the son of a Pakistani immigrant bus driver, who was initially the first Muslim mayor of the western capital when he was elected in 2016. His mayor’s predecessor, Boris Johnson, as well as former US President Donald Trump.
The pair became embroiled in an unusual war of words, after Khan criticized Trump’s controversial travel ban on people from some Muslim countries. During his 2018 visit to the UK, the mayor allowed the infamous president’s blindfold to be dressed as a child in Napi to fly over the protests in Parliament Square.
“He once beat me with a stone cold. There’s only one of us defeated, and it’s not me,” Khan, who usually fought, told AFP. He told P when he campaigned before this week’s election. Born in London in 1970 to parents who had recently come to Pakistan, Khan was the fifth child of seven brothers and one sister. He grew up in a public residence in Totting, an ethnically mixed area of south London, and slept in his cane until he was 24 years old.