Sadiq Khan hopes to lead change across London after retaining Tooting seat for Labour

Labour’s Sadiq Khan believes his success today in the race for Tooting’s parliamentary seat reflects a desire for change in London.

Mr Khan, Shadow Lord Chancellor, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Shadow Minister for London, will serve his third consecutive term in the seat after winning 25,263 votes.

Despite being run close by first-time Conservative runner Dan Watkins, Mr Khan was buoyed by the support he received and praised his party.

“What’s quite clear from the results I’ve seen tonight is that people don’t want a status quo,” he said.

“They’re really keen to see change, real change, and I’m confident across London we’ll see that change.

“We’ve become a movement. We’ve made sure we have supported members, people who are interested in getting involved in politics, we’ve selected the best candidates we’ve ever had in a general election, more women, more ethnic minorities and I think we’ll see the fruits of that.”

From a 69.9% turnout, Mr Khan saw just a 0.2% increase on vote share.

Having been linked to the London Mayoral race, Mr Khan could not be drawn on whether his re-election affects those theories but did describe his disbelief at being given a third term.

“It’s humbling just to have the question of the London Mayoral race asked of me,” he said.

“I still can’t believe that the Labour party gave someone like me the chance to be their candidate in Tooting.

“I still can’t believe that the people of Tooting have, on three occasions, voted for me to be their MP, it still gives me goosebumps thinking about being a full-time politician.”

Mr Khan also paid tribute to the swathe of new voters that took to polling booths this year and hailed the rise in registered voters as a big boost for the capital.

“I’m really, really pleased that in 2015 we’ve got a new generation of voters voting , getting involved in politics and that can only be good for our democracy,” he said.

“People predicted a low turnout election, we’ve seen record numbers of people registered to vote and I think you’ll see record numbers voting which is great for London.

“There’s a new generation engaged in politics and a new generation of activists and that’s a tribute to all of us.”

Mr Khan also took the opportunity to speak about his campaigns for Tooting, including working on the NHS in response to the news that St George’s Hospital run a deficit of £10m.

He said: “Elections are not about politicians, they’re about people and there are too many people today suffering in Tooting.

“This election was about reducing inequality. This election was about saving and transforming the NHS. This election was about building more affordable homes.”

Image courtesy of the BBC via Youtube, with thanks

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