Sadiq Khan has today been appointed Shadow London minister by Ed Miliband, replacing Tessa Jowell. Gareth Thomas MP will serve as his deputy. Khan will continue to serve as Shadow Justice Secretary, but will sit in the Shadow Cabinet in both capacities.
Sadiq was considered one of the early frontrunners for the candidacy for London Mayor, and it is believed that he will throw his hat into the ring once the selection process starts. This new role will allow his a cross-London remit (and lots of visits to London CLPs), and will only strengthen his hand when it comes to the selection – and increase the suspicion that the Tooting MP is planning a run for City Hall in 2016.
Announcing the appointment today, Ed Miliband said:
“I am delighted to appoint Sadiq Khan as Shadow Minister for London, replacing Tessa Jowell who did a brilliant job for many years until standing down after the Olympics.
“Sadiq, together with Gareth Thomas as his deputy, will both play incredibly important roles in holding the Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson to account, as well as building towards the London Local Elections in 2014, the General Election in 2015 and the Mayoral contest in 2016. These are big jobs and both Sadiq and Gareth will do them with determination, energy and ability.”
Sadiq Khan said:
“It’s an enormous privilege to be asked by Ed Miliband to take on this crucial job. Being Shadow Minister for London, where my constituency is, where I live, where I grew up – is a daunting challenge, but one that I relish. London is the most amazing dynamic place, home to millions of people of different nationalities, races and cultures, but it’s also a city of huge contrasts. I’m proud to call it my home.
“Tessa Jowell has set a very high standard and is an amazingly hard act to follow. I pay tribute to work Tessa has done on behalf of London, reaching the ultimate pinnacle of the magnificent Olympics last summer. She leaves a very proud legacy, and one I am excited about being entrusted with.
“Labour councils and councillors are doing an excellent job across the capital, in the face of tough spending cuts forced on them by the Tory-led Government. It’s left to Labour to protect our communities, our crucial public services and the most vulnerable from the harsh policies of this Government. Against this backdrop, I’m determined that we will return even more Labour councillors in 2014 as a springboard to General Election victory in 2015 and the return of a Labour mayor in 2016. A Labour London is a better London.”