Relaymedia

London’s Election Campaign Marred by Religious Tensions and Accusation of Racism

( [email protected] ) May 02, 2016 12:47 PM EDT
Christian Zac Goldsmith is seem losing a grip of his ambition to become the next mayor of  the world's top financial centre, London, as his arch rival Sadiq Khan of Britain's opposition Labour Party left him with 20 points making Khan the strong favorite to win the mayoral race.
Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith (far left) listening as Labour's Sadiq Khan spoke at a London Mayoral Accountability Assembly on Thursday

Christian Zac Goldsmith is seen losing a grip of his ambition to become the next mayor of the world's top financial centre, London, as his arch rival Sadiq Khan of Britain's opposition Labour Party left him with 20 points making Khan the strong favourite to win the mayoral race.

A shoot up of the gap was brought by religious tensions and accusations of racism. Goldsmith had for weeks focused his campaign on Khan's faith, and his public appearances with fellow radical Muslims implying that Khan is helping extremism.

Anthony Wells, director of political and social opinion polling at YouGov. said people who are almost subconsciously put off by the dog-whistle racism may vote for Khan.

Currently, the reign of London's local government is held by Goldsmith party mate in the Conservative Boris Johnson. If given the luck Khan will be the first Muslim to head a major Western capital, which is one of the world's most diverse and home to 8.6 million people.

Son of a bus driver and former human rights lawyer, Khan described as "abhorrent" Goldsmith view about his mingling with fellow Muslims and his religious faith

"I have fought extremism all my life," he said, accusing Goldsmith of trying to divide Londoners by using faith a big campaign issue.

But Wells said only to entrench all long-standing issues that the Conservative Party have got with appealing to ethnic minority voters is the effect of Goldsmith campaigning.

Last week, Labour Party also suffered a setback when party mate and former London mayor Ken Livingstone issued a comment on her Facebook saying that Israel should be moved to the U.S. The comment drew controversy and some sector accused the party hierarchy of failing to stamp out ani-Semitism in their rank.

Khan was quick to distance himself from Livingstone, admitting that her statement in the Social Media could hit his chances in the election.

"Because of it Londoners of Jewish faith would feel it difficult to feel the Labour Party is a place for them," he said.