Sadiq Khan admits failure to provide ‘proper leadership’ as he opens up about struggles

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The Mayor of London also divulged how the deaths of thousands of Londoners during the epidemic moved him to tears, saying: “I’m a crier.” The Labour mayor also said he believes his personal problems have meant he has not been able to provide “proper leadership” to nine million Londoners during the biggest public health crisis of a generation.

Mr Khan said: “I’ve found it really tough.

“So, for eight weeks I didn’t leave, literally, my home and Tooting Common. That’s it.

“I thrive on company, on being out and about. And I was struggling.”

When asked if the lack of socialising had taken its toll on his mental health, he said he felt certain it had.

The mayor told The Times: “I’ve got no doubt it did. In the sense of just feeling a bit down. There are days when I’m not providing proper leadership.”

And when he was pressed on whether he had cried during the lonely period, he candidly answered: “I’m a crier. I can cry in a film.”

New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has shown young people have suffered the biggest deterioration in mental health during the lockdown.

Four in 10 (42 percent) of those surveyed aged between 16 and 29 said their mental health had suffered.

This was compared to a quarter of participants in the 30-59 age bracket.

For those aged 60 and over the percentage dropped to 15.

Mr Khan was elected mayor in 2016 with 1.3 million votes.

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He has repeatedly spoken of his immigrant background and particularly the fact that his father was a bus driver in London.

His parents arrived in the UK from Pakistan in the 1960s.

Mr Khan was one of eight children born to the couple and raised on a housing estate in Tooting, south London.

On Monday, he called on the Conservative Government to learn from the suffering endured by the Windrush generation and end the “hostile environment” many immigrants find themselves in in London.

His statement was released to mark the 72nd anniversary of the SS Empire Windrush arriving in the UK.

The ship sailed into Tilbury Docks bringing some 500 people from Jamaica.

He said ministers should help Londoners by increasing funding to the immigration sector and cutting its “extortionate” fees.

Mr Khan said: “Many of the Windrush Generation and their families are still struggling to access the advice and support they need, and it is clear that too many Londoners are still being failed by an immigration system that is prohibitively expensive and simply not fit for purpose.

“I’m proud that our funding is helping Londoners of all backgrounds to get the legal advice and support they need, but the Government must end its hostile immigration policies now to ensure these Londoners can secure their future in our city.”

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