‘I’m quite cool’ – Sadiq Khan

fifty-five quotes by and about
Sadiq Khan
born 1970
Labour MP for Tooting 2005–2016
transport minister 2009–2010
Mayor of London 2016

‘London’s made me the man I am and it’s been home to my family. My parents emigrated here, they loved it.’ – Sadiq Khan (2013) [i]

‘Life on the Henry Prince estate, in Earlsfield, where we first lived and which was overwhelmingly white, was tough. Gangs would go out “Paki bash-ing” and I got attacked a number of times. Our home was vandalised but my six brothers and I were never ones to take crap and we always fought back and gave as good as we got.’ – Sadiq Khan (2009) [ii]

‘I got into fights. I won much more than I lost.’ – Sadiq Khan (2015) [iii]

‘When I was younger I wanted to have a nice car, my dad wanted to own his own home, we did want to go on nice holidays. And most people on council estates do too. I’m not embarrassed at wearing nice clothes or a nice suit.’ – Sadiq Khan (2010) [iv]

‘What I’m not going to do is get delusions of grandeur and forget where I came from. One thing that worries me is that I see MPs in Parliament who, once they climb up the greasy pole, they lose touch with their communities.’ – Sadiq Khan (2010) [v]

‘Studying law gave Khan an entry into business and a burgeoning profile. He was taken on as a trainee by the prominent human rights lawyer Louise Christian ; three years later, at 27, he became a partner and the firm was renamed Christian Khan. He chaired the human rights group Liberty for three years, and represented figures including the Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan, offering some of the ammunition for those seeking today to associate him with extremism – which he has repeatedly and lengthily refuted.’ – Guardian (2016) [vi]

‘The point about human rights is not to have them when things are hunky-dory. The point about human rights is that they provide a base when things, frankly, are not hunky-dory.’ – Sadiq Khan (2005) [vii]

‘I realised that although I’d won cases at the European court of human rights, and I’d won cases in the House of Lords and the court of appeal, I still couldn’t escape the fact that if you’re part of the legislature and the executive, you can make legislation that improves the quality of life for literally millions of people, here and overseas.’ – Sadiq Khan (2010) [viii]

‘In Tooting, the party selected a prominent civil rights lawyer, Sadiq Khan, who has been a vociferous critic of the treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay.’ – Andy McSmith (2004) [ix]

‘Only a vote for him will stop the pro-war Tories.’ – Michael Mansfield QC (2005) [x]

‘Scotland Yard’s anti- terrorist squad secretly bugged a high-profile Labour Muslim MP during private meetings with one of his constituents. Sadiq Khan, now a government whip, was recorded by an electronic listening device hidden in a table during visits to the constituent in prison.’ – Sunday Times (2008) [xi]

‘To this day, Kinnock is my hero. I’ve met Blair and Brown many times but I’m still a nervous wreck around Kinnock – I’ve never even had the courage to introduce myself.’ – Sadiq Khan (2009) [xii]

‘Sadiq Khan, Ed Miliband’s campaign agent, said the party did not want “more of the same”.’ – Guardian (2010) [xiii]

‘Sadiq Khan, one of Ed Miliband’s first supporters and a barrister, has been appointed shadow justice secretary. His appointment will signal a more liberal view on counter-terrorism issues.’ – Guardian (2010) [xiv]

‘If you want a photo-op Prime Minister, Ed’s not your man. He can’t hug a husky — he’s not a PR man. But if you want someone serious, who’s got a long-term vision for our future…’ – Sadiq Khan (2015) [xv]

‘I don’t like every chocolate in the Labour box but overall it’s to my taste.’ – Sadiq Khan (2009) [xvi]

‘Khan was one of those who nominated Jeremy Corbyn for the party leadership, and though he was open that he intended to back Andy Burnham, his own selection as mayoral candidate was seen by many as part of the same leftwing groundswell.’ – Guardian (2016) [xvii]

‘Sadiq Khan supports Jeremy Corbyn like the rope supports the hanging man.’ – George Galloway (2015) [xviii]

‘#YesWeKhan’ – Jeremy Corbyn celebrates Khan’s election as London mayor (2016) [xix]

‘I am embarrassed and sorrowful about the state of our party.’ – Sadiq Khan on Labour antisemitism (2016) [xx]

‘I’m appalled and heartbroken that Londoners of Jewish faith don’t feel the Labour Party’s for them.’ – Sadiq Khan (2018) [xxi]

‘If we are truly honest with ourselves, we knew in our heart of hearts that Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership was deeply unpopular with the British people and that we were extremely unlikely to form a Labour government last night. Labour now stands more politically and culturally removed than ever before from the people our party was formed to represent and that means asking ourselves some very difficult questions.’ – Sadiq Khan (2019) [xxii]

‘I think I’m quite cool.’ – Sadiq Khan (2015) [xxiii]

‘Someone who doesn’t embarrass his children too much.’ – Sadiq Khan’s definition of someone who’s cool (2016) [xxiv]

‘I was a dad dancer before I became a dad.’ – Sadiq Khan (2016) [xxv]

‘I don’t think yellow’s my colour.’ – Sadiq Khan (2018) [xxvi]

‘Clegg’s a wuss.’ – Sadiq Khan (2015) [xxvii]

‘This idea that you go to heaven and have 72 virgins is frankly bollocks.’ – Sadiq Khan (2005) [xxviii]

‘He eats halal-butchered beings, and talks so quickly that people can’t understand him.’ – Morrissey on Khan (2016) [xxix]

‘I would say Sadiq Khan single-handedly wrecked the Labour Party, and now he’s turning his finely-honed judgment on the great city of London.’ – Lord Sugar of Clapton (2016) [xxx]

‘If you were to ask me to choose five people I’d want to have a cappuccino with, I think Boris [Johnson] may be one of them. But do we really want the top job in London chosen according to who is most charismatic?’ – Sadiq Khan (2013) [xxxi]

‘I want Donald Trump to come to London so I can introduce myself to him as a mainstream Muslim, very, very comfortable with Western liberal values.’ – Sadiq Khan (2016) [xxxii]

‘Donald Trump’s state visit should not go ahead. I don’t think we should roll out the red carpet to the president of the USA in the circumstances where his policies go against everything we stand for.’ – Sadiq Khan (2017) [xxxiii]

‘You have a mayor who has done a terrible job in London. I think he has done a very bad job on terrorism.’ – Donald Trump (2018) [xxxiv]

‘When I was growing up in Tooting, when a police officer was walking down the road towards you, you’d cross the road. The police were seen as the bad guys. It was just a basic way you felt.’ – Sadiq Khan (2013) [xxxv]

‘Having a visible police presence, especially in the town centre, is the way to deter aggressive behaviour.’ – Sadiq Khan (2000) [xxxvi]

‘There needs to be a real partnership between the British Muslim community and the police to ensure we defeat the common threat of terror facing us all. At the moment, there are widespread worries over the abuse of police powers, including the beating of some suspects and insults hurled at their religion.’ – Sadiq Khan (2004) [xxxvii]

‘London is safe. The police have been working their socks off.’ – Sadiq Khan (2016) [xxxviii]

‘We’ve seen over the last few years they [the police] are under-resourced and overstretched and they need our help to deal with the scourge of the increase in knife crime we’ve seen across our country, and London hasn’t escaped that.’ – Sadiq Khan (2020) [xxxix]

‘As the father of two teenage girls, I am extremely concerned about this kind of advertising which can demean people, particularly women, and make them ashamed of their bodies. Nobody should feel pressurised, while they travel on the tube or bus, into unrealistic expectations surrounding their bodies.’ – Sadiq Khan (2016) [xl]

‘I am proud to support calls to recognise misogyny as a hate crime and for all hate crimes based on protected characteristics to be treated equally.’ – Sadiq Khan (2020) [xli]

‘When you look at the public realm – street names, street squares, murals – not only are there some of slavers that I think should be taken down, and the commission will advise us on that, but actually we don’t have enough representation of people of colour, black people, women, those from the LGBT community.’ – Sadiq Khan (2020) [xlii]

‘It’s really important that voters see the prime minister and the mayor of London together. We both believe passionately that remaining in the EU is important for our city and our country.’ – Sadiq Khan (2016) [xliii]

‘What would happen if we left? What would happen to those businesses that are American, Japanese, Chinese, that have their headquarters here in London? What happens to the business we do with Germany, France, Spain, Italy?’ – Sadiq Khan (2016) [xliv]

‘A hard-line approach to Brexit may hold the Conservative Party together, but it could rip Britain apart.’ – Sadiq Khan (2017) [xlv]

‘After careful consideration, I’ve decided the people must get a final say. This means a public vote on any deal or a vote on a no deal, alongside the option of staying in the EU.’ – Sadiq Khan (2018) [xlvi]

‘I don’t foresee a situation where we are advising people to not use the Tube or public transport but we review this at each stage. I don’t foresee a situation where we do what other cities have done and say don’t go to concerts and ban people from confined spaces.’ – Sadiq Khan (2020) [xlvii]

‘I want to reassure Londoners and visitors that the advice from experts is to continue with our daily lives as normal, including using public transport.’ – Sadiq Khan (2020) [xlviii]

‘People should not be travelling, by any means, unless they really, really have to. Londoners should be avoiding social interaction unless absolutely necessary, and that means they should be avoiding using the transport network unless absolutely necessary.’ – Sadiq Khan (2020) [xlix]

‘Those Londoners who have been working from home have been working. I think it’s really offensive to suggest those working from home haven’t been working, they’ve somehow been lazy – it’s not the case.’ – Sadiq Khan (2020) [l]

‘Unfortunately, and it gives me no pleasure to say this, we’ve all been catastrophically let down by the government. If ministers had risen to this moment, as the British public have, then the loss of many lives and much of the economic hardship could have been avoided.’ – Sadiq Khan (2020) [li]

‘I have never defined myself by my faith, and I would not accept the job if I thought it was tokenism rather than merit.’ – Sadiq Khan (2009) [lii]

‘Everybody has got our names wrong – the Speaker has got us confused, the Deputy Speaker has got us confused. MPs get us confused constantly.’ – Shahid Malik (2007) [liii]

‘I didn’t even realise that I was the first MP in London ever elected of Muslim faith.’ – Sadiq Khan (2010) [liv]

‘I predict there will be a black or Asian prime minister in my lifetime and all the evidence suggests it will be a Labour prime minister.’ – Sadiq Khan (2008) [lv]

see also:

[i] Guardian 20 September 2013

[ii] Evening Standard 17 June 2009

[iii] Evening Standard 23 February 2015

[iv] Guardian 29 November 2010

[v] Your Local Guardian 14 May 2010

[vi] Guardian 17 April 2017

[vii] Times 9 August 2005

[viii] Guardian 29 November 2010

[ix] Independent on Sunday 24 October 2004

[x] Times 19 April 2005

[xi] Sunday Times 3 February 2008

[xii] Evening Standard 17 June 2009

[xiii] Guardian 12 September 2010

[xiv] Guardian 8 October 2010

[xv] Evening Standard 23 February 2015

[xvi] Evening Standard 17 June 2009

[xvii] Guardian 17 April 2017

[xviii] Birmingham Mail 28 November 2015

[xix] Sunday Mirror 8 May 2016

[xx] Sunday Times 10 April 2016

[xxi] Birmingham Mail 2 April 2018

[xxii] Independent 13 December 2019

[xxiii] Evening Standard 23 February 2015

[xxiv] Herald 7 April 2016

[xxv] Sunday Mirror 11 December 2016

[xxvi] Sunday Mirror 2 September 2018

[xxvii] Evening Standard 23 February 2015

[xxviii] Financial Times 14 July 2005

[xxix] Guardian 4 August 2016

[xxx] Herald 26 April 2016

[xxxi] Guardian 20 September 2013

[xxxii] Express Tribune 15 May 2016

[xxxiii] Herald 7 June 2017

[xxxiv] Daily Mirror 13 July 2018

[xxxv] Guardian 20 September 2013

[xxxvi] Greater London, Kent, and Surrey Counties Publications 6 October 2000

[xxxvii] Guardian 24 January 2004

[xxxviii] Sun 7 August 2016

[xxxix] South Wales Echo 21 January 2020

[xl] Bolton News 13 June 2016

[xli] Independent 6 March 2020

[xlii] Derby Telegraph 10 June 2020

[xliii] Sunday Times 29 May 2016

[xliv] Associated Press 12 June 2016

[xlv] South Wales Echo 20 January 2017

[xlvi] Independent 14 October 2018

[xlvii] Evening Standard 3 March 2020

[xlviii] Basingstoke Gazette 10 March 2020

[xlix] Press Association 19 March 2020

[l] South Wales Echo 5 September 2020

[li] Nottingham Post 21 September 2020

[lii] Evening Standard 17 June 2009

[liii] Times 11 August 2007

[liv] Guardian 29 November 2010

[lv] Times 8 November 2008


2 thoughts on “‘I’m quite cool’ – Sadiq Khan

  1. ‘I predict there will be a black or Asian prime minister in my lifetime and all the evidence suggests it will be a Labour prime minister.’ – Sadiq Khan (2008)

    I don’t think Sadiq will have to stay alive for much longer.


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