IN FEBRUARY 2022, Sadiq Khan unleashed a political storm.
As the police and crime commissioner for London, he put the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick, ‘on notice’. In doing so, he made the tough judgement call that other leaders refused to do. Khan spoke for most Londoners, and even though it is the home secretary who hires and fires the Met commissioner, it was enough for Scotland Yard’s first female boss to know she had no choice but to resign. While some Tories fumed, including Priti Patel according to press speculation, his Labour colleagues, Liberal Democrats and those at the hands of Met racism, sexism, misogyny and homophobia backed Khan 100 per cent.
Sticking up for people is nothing new for the London mayor. “The first time I met Sadiq Khan was in 2003,” remembers Barnie Choudhury, former BBC social affairs correspondent. “His firm, Christian Khan, was advising the National Black Police Association in a case involving a senior Metropolitan police officer.
“We needed to get to the Old Bailey, and I suggested we jump in a cab. He was having none of it. ‘My dad was a bus driver, if the bus was good for him then it’s good enough for me. We’re catching the bus’, and we did.’”
If you need a story which sums up Khan, it is that. Working class roots – check. Public service – check. Fighting for underdogs – check. Khan was a human rights lawyer, and he won many a famous cases.
When we speak in December for the Power List, Khan is relaxed, and he has his trademark steely determination but oozes charisma. He is a pugilist. Unafraid to talk about any topic, and unafraid to speak his mind, no matter who disagrees with him or who he may upset. For