Sadiq Khan MP
Successfully defended Tooting in the May 2010 General Election.
Appointed Shadow Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice in October 2010 – thus making him the senior-most elected Muslim-heritage politician; previously shadow Transport Secretary. During the September 2010 Labour Party leader elections, he was victor Ed Milliband’s campaign manager and went into the room with him when the leadership announcement was made.
Sadiq Khan was elected as MP of Tooting on 5th May 2005 with a majority of 5,300. He is a former chair of the Legal Affairs Committee of the Muslim Council of Britain. Sadiq Khan was born in Tooting in 1970. He represents a young generation of talented British Muslims making their mark in public life.
On 8th June 2008, he was promoted to Minister of Transport, attending Cabinet when Transport policy is on the agenda, and acting as the lead speaker on Transport in the House of Commons. He was appointed to the Privy Council. In December 2009 he became the first Muslim to sit on the Government front benches.
In July 2006 Sadiq observed, “As an ethnically Asian Muslim, but born and bred in this country, I am unambivalently British. I have never felt a conflict between my country, my religion and my background. My parents came from Pakistan and brought their children up to be good British Muslims – and the values of Islam and Britishness happily morphed together.”
In October 2008 he was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Communities and Local Government, as part of the government reshuffle. He noted at the time, “Community cohesion and equality are subjects close to my heart. Having been brought up in Tooting – somewhere I believe to be good example of a multi-cultural community – and worked as a human rights solicitor, I hope that I can have a positive impact on the challenges our country faces today.”
Public disquiet following the Israeli invasion of Gaza in January 2009 placed Sadiq Khan in the limelight, where he was required to defend the Government’s policy to Muslim audiences and rally their support. In March 2009 he was reported as stating, “The days of lazy politicians just speaking to one or two powerful community groups or leaders are gone. You need to speak to individuals and local community groups, even though there will still be a role for umbrella groups to play”, taken as a reference to his Secretary of State’s decision to ‘suspend’ dealings with the Muslim Council of Britain.
In September 2008 he voted with Government to support the 42-day detention plan.
In early 2007 Sadiq became the Parliamentary Private Secretary to Rt Honourable Jack Straw MP, who was then Leader of the House of Commons. In July 2007, the new Prime Minister appointed Sadiq a Minister in the Government Whip’s Office. He has special responsibility for managing Ministry of Justice legislation.
In February 2008 it emerged that his conversations with constituency member Baber Ahmed had been bugged by the security agencies. This intrusion into the constituency affairs of an MP has prompted disquiet within the Muslim community and has also broken the so-called Wilson doctrine. A subsequent investigation by the chief surveillance officer, Sir Charles Rose, found that the eavesdropping had been authorised by a Met Police chief – Andy Hayman – rather than the Home Secretary.
Prior to his career in politics, Sadiq Khan was a solicitor specialising in employment, discrimination and human rights law and a partner of Christian Khan Solictors. He was elected as a Labour councillor for Tooting ward in 1994 and served three terms as a local councillor. He was Deputy Leader of Labour Councillors until 2001 and acted as Planning spokesman.
In a crucial Parliamentary vote on 9th November 2005, Sadiq Khan was the only Muslim MP prepared to defy Government whips and vote against the Government’s bill to extend the pre-charge detention of terrorist suspects from two weeks to three months. The three other Muslim MPs voted in support of the draconian measure. Sadiq also helped to limit the extension to 28 days, by being the only Muslim member of the House of Commons to vote for the subsequent amendment. Sadiq Khan was named as ‘Newcomer of the Year’ at the annual Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year 2005.
He is a visiting lecturer in employment law at the University of North London and has published articles on legal reform and human rights issues. Sadiq has served as a director and chair of Liberty and Vice-Chair of Legal Action Group (LAG). He was a member if the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Committee examining Civil Legal Aid, a member of the Liberty Advisory Committee examining an independent Police Complaints System and a member of the Advisory Committee looking into the reform of Inquests. Sadiq is advisor to a number of individual of groups including the National Black Police Association and the Metropolitan Black Police Association. Committee.
Together with Louise Christian, he has represented a number of the UK prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay.