London's first Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, was sworn in today at Southwark Cathedral after beating his closest rival, Conservative Zac Goldsmith, by 56.8 per cent to 43.2 per cent, giving him a larger personal mandate than either of his predecessors, Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone.
Addressing the crowd in the packed cathedral, Mr Khan, the son of Pakistani immigrants, said: "I'm only here today because of the opportunities and helping hand that our city gave to me and my family.
"My burning ambition for our city, that will guide my mayoralty, is to ensure that all Londoners get the opportunities that my city gave to me."
Cardinal Vincent Nichols welcomed the news, saying: "I assure him of my prayers for his time in this important office in which he will face the great challenges of London, in its richness, diversity and energy." In a statement he reiterated Pope Francis' comments at Friday's audience with European leaders, about the need for equality in Europe and he said: "May this same spirit inspire the leadership of our new Mayor."
Southwark Cathedral has been a site of Christian worship for more than 1,000 years. Khan said he wanted the ceremony to take place in the cathedral as a reflection of his intent to represent “every single community” as a “mayor for all Londoners”.
Presidential hopeful Hilary Clinton was among those sending messages of congratulations to the new mayor on Twitter.