London’s new mayor Sadiq Khan personally chose Southwark Cathedral as a venue for his swearing in ceremony on Saturday, claiming that he wanted to be “surrounded by Londoners of all backgrounds”.
The mayor – who has been dogged by claims that he is an Islamist sympathiser – took to the 1000-year-old Christian venue yesterday to declare: “We are here in Southwark Cathedral because I want to start this mayoralty as I intend to go on.
“I am determined to lead the most transparent, engaged and accessible administration that London has ever seen – and to represent every single community and every single part of our city – as Mayor for all Londoners.
“So I wanted to do this signing-in ceremony here, in the heart of London, surrounded by Londoners of all backgrounds.”
But the choice of location is strange to say the least, especially considering the ceremony – supposedly a secular one – is usually held at City Hall.
A member of the London Mayor’s press team told Breitbart London that the venue was chosen by Mr. Khan and his team, and was never the default venue for the event.
They said that had Mr. Goldsmith won, the process would have taken place at wherever his team chose – likely City Hall.
And the guest list – which included actor Sir Ian McKellen, and the mother of a murdered black teenager, Baroness Lawrence – was also handpicked by Mr. Khan and his team.
The use of Southwark Cathedral has prompted anger and confusion from both those convinced that Mr. Khan is an Islamist himself, and from those who wish to keep religion out of politics.
Mr. Khan was joined at the ceremony by his wife and other, hijab-clad, female family members.
He was joined on stage by representatives of Britain’s Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities.
The Dean of Southwark, the Very Revd Andrew Nunn, said he had been “delighted” to receive a phone call asking whether the Cathedral could host the event.