Skip to main content
Become a member
  • Register
  • Login

Register Login



Sadiq Khan: his rise to success

27 Oct 2016
Headshot of Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Sadiq Khan pledged to become “the most pro-business mayor London has ever had” and his keynote speech at this year’s Annual Dinner should be highly relevant to business leaders. 

We take a look at his rise to success before becoming Mayor of London.


1970 – Born 8 October at St George’s Hospital, Tooting. He is the fifth of eight children.

1985 – Joins the Labour Party.

1994 – Starts working as a trainee solicitor at Christian Fisher under eminent human rights lawyer Louise Christian. In the same year he marries fellow solicitor Saadiya Ahmed. He is also elected as a councillor in his home borough of Wandsworth.

1997 – Becomes a partner at Christian Fisher, which is renamed Christian Khan.

2004 – Selected as Labour candidate for the parliamentary seat of Tooting. The opportunity arises after Tom Cox becomes the first sitting Labour MP not to be reselected automatically to stand again at the next general election. Khan quits his job at Christian Khan.

2005 – He becomes MP for Tooting after winning the seat with a comfortable majority in the 2005 General Election. Later that year Khan has the first of several fall-outs with PM Tony Blair after opposing a bill to hold terror suspects in custody for 90 days without charge.

2006 – Named Newcomer of the Year in The Spectator’s Parliamentary Awards. He is also given the title of Honorary Alderman for the London Borough of Wandsworth.

2008 – Appointed as Communities Minister by PM Gordon Brown. In the same year he becomes a Fellow of the Industry and Parliament Trust, in recognition his work in developing a greater understanding between business and parliament.

2009 – Becomes the first Muslim MP to attend Cabinet when Brown makes him Transport Minister as part of a reshuffle.

2010 – Holds on to his parliamentary seat in the General Election, although his majority is halved to 2,524. He also writes to residents in his constituency to state that for the second year in a row he won’t be accepting a pay rise, or an increase in his ministerial salary. “At a time when many people in Tooting and throughout the country are having to accept pay freezes I don't think it's appropriate for MPs to accept a pay rise.”

2013 – Receives death threats after voting in favour of the same-sex marriage bill. He receives support from Inayat Bunglawala, the founder and chair of Muslims4UK who says, “Instead of vilifying him as an apostate, his short-sighted and bigoted detractors would do better by looking to him as a talented and hard-working role model for young Muslims.’

2015 – Retains his seat in the General Election and increases his majority to 2,842. Becomes the Labour candidate for Mayor of London following a resounding victory over the bookies favourite Tessa Jowell. Khan wins the vote by 58.9 per cent to 41.1 per cent.

2016 – Khan is elected as Mayor of London. Another crushing victory at the polls sees Khan gets 56.9 per cent of the second round vote to see off Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith. A bruising and bitter contest saw both candidates clash in a war of words including a heated debate held at the IoD.

Hear from Sadiq Khan along with Jon Culshaw at the IoD Annual Dinner on 30 November for a glittering evening of entertainment.

Book your tickets

An error has occurred. Error: Related articles is currently unavailable.

Contact our press office

Press office

IoD Professional Development Brochure

Knowledge, skills and mindset for a challenging world

IoD courses are designed to tackle the core competencies needed to thrive at board-level.

Download course brochure