London’s new mayor, Sadiq Khan, on Sunday attended a ceremony in the British capital to commemorate the murder of six million Jews by Nazi Germany. It was Khan’s first engagement as mayor and a highly symbolic act.
Khan, the son of a Pakistani-born bus driver, is the first Muslim mayor of any capital city in Europe. At the ceremony, he was joined by UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and other leading members of the Jewish community. Khan has promised to be “a mayor for all Londoners.”
In a statement, Khan said: “I’m honored that my first public engagement will be such a poignant one, where I will meet and hear from Jewish survivors and refugees who went through the unimaginable horrors of the Holocaust, yet have managed to not only build lives here in London, but give so much back for the benefit of wider society.”
Around 150 Holocaust survivors were present at the rugby stadium where the memorial was held.
In recent weeks, Khan’s Labour Party has been rocked by allegations of anti-Semitism, and more than a dozen members, including the former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, were suspended from the party pending investigations into anti-Israel statements they made. Livingstone last month claimed that Adolf Hitler had supported the Zionist aim of establishing a state of Israel. He had served as London mayor from 2000 to 2008.