The new Mayor of London has heaped praise on the Irish and said that they helped to make the city great.
Sadiq Khan is the first ever Muslim mayor of the UK’s capital city after winning the election last week. He is happy to acknowledge the important role that London’s huge Irish population had played in making the city what it is today.
Mr Khan told the Irish Post: “As someone who was born and bred in London I know just how much we owe the Irish community for the role they’ve played in making London great.
“Whether it’s the contribution of Irish teachers, nurses and doctors in our schools and hospitals, or the role of Irish entrepreneurs and businesses, we cannot underestimate the difference they make to our city.
Mr Khan has an affinity with the Irish diaspora in London as his own family were also immigrants to the UK.
He continued: “Like many Irish people, my parents came to London to make a better life for themselves. My dad was a bus driver and my mum used to sew clothes to bring in extra money. We didn’t have much, but they were able to save up to buy a house for our family.”
With the UK currently preparing for a referendum on whether or not to remain in the EU, Mr Khan is hopeful that voters won’t turn their backs on Europe.
He believes that a ‘Brexit’ would be bad for the UK, and would have negative ripple effects in Ireland, which enjoys a good trading relationship with the UK.
Mr Khan said: “I will campaign for Britain to stay in Europe. London cannot become isolationist. I want to build stronger links with Dublin and Belfast and showcase the innovation of London’s Irish community.
“I’ve met so many Irish entrepreneurs across London, and I want to celebrate their creativity, not cut their businesses off from the European market.”