Bus driver’s boy vs billionaire’s son
Lord Mayor of London – the very title suggests pomp and circumstance – but one of the current mayoral candidates is far from elitist. Sadiq Aman Khan, 45, is of Pakistani extraction, his parents having mirgrated to Britain shortly before his birth in 1970. He has had a distinguished career in law and politics, and is a prominent social democrat of the Labour Party. His origins were humble as can be. Said Khan of his working-class parents, “my late father, Amanullah Khan, worked as a bus driver for over 25 years. My mother Sehrun, was a seamstress. My dad worked all the hours that God sent as a bus driver. If he got overtime, he’d take it. My mum not only raised eight children but was sewing clothes in the house while raising us, while cooking”. From his earliest years, Khan too worked. “As soon as I could get a job, I did. I got a paper job, a Saturday job – some summers I worked on a building site.”
Khan is being opposed in the mayoral contest by Zac Goldsmith, former brother-in-law of Imran Khan. Goldsmith is heir to a multi-million pound fortune, a former Etonian and Conservative politician. He couldn’t be more different from the working-class, self-made Sadiq Khan. The contest between the two has tended to focus heavily on the candidates’ personal narratives, with Khan being accused of having a family with alleged extremist views. However, pollsters say that Khan has a marginal lead over Goldsmith, which will finally be determined on May 5. Question: will Imran Khan campaign for Zac Goldsmith, as he did in the past?
In case the boys thought they had finished off HH, our erstwhile man in Washington, for good, he is proving them wrong. Unfazed by the unresolved, unproven memodrama, our man has re-emerged on the international speaking circuit and has signed three new book deals for 2016. He was seen on the podium in Sharjah recently with Amal Clooney, former UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband, former French PM Dominique Villepin and former New Zealand PM, alongside Gulf royalty. Now that’s a crowd most of his former bosses don’t get to hang out with. And apparently they pay him to speak!