LONDON: The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is campaigning for the European Parliament elections – set for 23rd May – under heavy police security after threats were made to his life by far-right extremists.
Speaking to this correspondent on Tuesday, the London Mayor said that he will not be cowed or bullied and will carry on doing his work for the “greatest city” of London.
The mayor of London has 24-hour police protection after repeated threats on social media made by far-right extremists and he has said that the level of abuse and threats have gone up after he defeated Tory candidate Zac Goldsmith to succeed Boris Johnson as mayor.
Sadiq Khan told Geo News that it was in Britain’s interest to remain part of the European Union and therefore it was important for everyone – including Pakistanis and Muslims – to come out on 23rd May and vote for the “Remainers” and reject the “Brexiteers” who want to leave the EU.
Sadiq Khan said that the referendum campaign allowed things to come to the surface and normalised things that should not be normalised otherwise and threats to his life and others by the far-right extremists had grown.
Its understood that only this year Sadiq Khan’s office referred 17 cases to the police after 237 threats were made on social media. These included “name-calling, trolling and threats to terrorism”.
He said: “I will not be cowed or bullied by these people, but you can’t escape the fact that those close to me are worried. It can’t be right that one of the consequences of me being the mayor of London and a Muslim in public life is that I have police protection.” Sadiq Khan has not blamed the “Leavers” for threats to his life.
Khan said that Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party was posing a serious threat to the mainstream parties in elections on Thursday. He urged the masses to reject Farage’s agenda and vote for the candidates who want to remain in the EU.
He said that on the one side are those who want Britain to continue to be forward looking, open to the world, tolerant, inclusive and progressive and on the other side are those who want to pit communities against each other by promoting hatred, racism, Islamophobia and division.
Sadiq Khan said that it was not true that Labour was confused and didn’t want to take a clear position on Brexit. “Labour has the best agenda for our country and Labour can take Britain out of the crisis through rationale policies. Theresa May and Tories have failed.”
He said that Tory party had promoted hate and racism and gave examples of Boris Johnson describing Muslim women as “letterboxes”, Sajid Javid singling out “Asian” child-grooming gangs and Zac Goldsmith promoting Islamophobic views during the last election for London mayor.