As Sadiq Khan continues to lead the polls in the mayoral race, the Labour candidate has managed to brush off much criticism over his links to unsavoury characters by putting it down to 'dog whistle' politics. However, the MP for Tooting may have greater difficulty fending off the latest line of attack to come his way.
Writing in the Sunday Times, Lord Sugar -- the former Labour peer who resigned from the party after the general election -- has launched a blistering attack on Khan. Sugar accuses Khan of having 'single-handedly wrecked the Labour Party'. The Apprentice star says he cut up his party membership card after Labour turned anti-business under Ed Miliband -- and his concerns were only confirmed when Corbyn was elected as Miliband's successor. However, rather than point the blame at the two most recent leaders, Sugar claims that it's Khan who is really behind the party's 'anti-business' stance:
'There is one politician who’s responsible for what’s happened to the party: Labour’s candidate for London mayor, Sadiq Khan. Khan ran Ed Miliband’s leadership campaign. He was in the room when Miliband turned on people like me, attacking the country’s largest employers as “predators”. So was Corbyn, who has called Britain’s businesses the real enemy.
Khan was one of the most senior Labour politicians to nominate Corbyn for leader. Without Khan’s endorsement, Corbyn would never have made it onto the ballot. He’s confirmed that Corbyn will be an asset to his campaign to become mayor, and admitted Corbyn’s supporters will help him get elected. Khan has not voted against Corbyn in parliament since Corbyn became leader.'
Sugar then goes on to pick apart Khan's business strategy -- describing it as 'a wish list straight out of Corbyn and Livingstone’s little red book'. He says that Khan's promised fare freeze on public transport is 'fantasy' and would leave a £1.9bn black hole that would need to be filled by raising council tax. As for his housing policy of asking developers to build new homes at a loss? 'Well, this sounds all very nice, but it’s another false promise that won’t happen. Commercially it doesn’t work,' Sugar writes. In fact, according to Sugar, Khan’s main offer to London voters is that 'he’s the Muslim son of a bus driver'.
Although it's clear Sugar thinks Khan would be a disaster for London, there is some hope for the Labour candidate. While Sugar has previously said we should all move to China if Corbyn were to become Prime Minister, he has stopped short of saying he would leave London if Khan were to become mayor.