LONDON: London Mayor Sadiq Khan has described his “horrible” life of constant security after enduring years of threats over his race and Muslim faith.
“The mayor of the greatest city in the world needs protection 24 hours a day, seven days a week because of the color of his skin and the God he worships,” he said.
Khan told a gathering at the Labour Party conference in Brighton that being told by police that his family was at risk was a “game-changer,” and that adjusting to needing protection from 15 police officers was “tough.”
He added: “You can’t do anything spontaneously. Riding a bike to work, which I do often, is different for me than for you. Using the Tube, which I do, is different for me than for you. Going for a jog … it’s hard. Having sniffer dogs in your house is not fun. Not being able to answer your door is hard. To have to give your staff counseling because of the vitriol directed at me from letters, emails. It’s horrible.”
Khan said he had been reluctant to discuss the abuse and security risk he endures because he does not want to make others from minority backgrounds feel nervous about standing for political office. “It’s probably the first time I’ve talked about it. I might get emotional,” he told the audience.