Atma Singh says of Sadiq Khan “He will revert to type”

Respected ex Labour member Atma Singh was adviser to Ken Livingstone on Asian issues from  2001 to 2007.  His article in the  Sunday Times is given below in full.AtmaSinghLet Red Ken be a warning about hard-left mayors and Islamists

The last time I spoke publicly during a mayoral election, it was to blow the whistle on Ken Livingstone. I was one of his advisers for seven years, and I witnessed first hand the damage his brand of radical far-left politics did to London. At this mayoral election I am speaking out again because I fear we are about to make the same mistake with Sadiq Khan.

I was a Labour party member most of my adult life — until last year. I ripped up my membership card when Jeremy Corbyn was elected because I didn’t want to see a return to the nasty, deeply divisive politics he and Livingstone represent.

It’s not just their obsession with the old battles of the 1980s, or economic policies from the 1970s that led to a three-day working week and rubbish piled high in the streets. Most seriously, it is their unacceptable tolerance for extremism.

Ken with Sheik Al Karadawi

Ken with Sheik Al Karadawi

Virtually my last act as a Labour member was to vote for Tessa Jowell in the selection for London mayor. I voted for her because I like and respect her brand of inclusive, progressive politics. But I was also voting against Khan.

I know for a fact he shares the hard-left, radical politics of Livingstone and Corbyn. It was no surprise to me that Khan nominated Corbyn for leader — he used his voters to secure the Labour mayoral nomination. He was an architect of the Corbyn insurgence because he shares his political outlook. He was Corbyn’s candidate in the selection race, and I am in no doubt he would be Corbyn’s mayor.

Writing in the Evening Standard recently, Livingstone asked Londoners to vote for Corbyn’s vision. And I know what that looks like because I was a part of it when Ken was mayor. Platforms, power and public money given according to political loyalty. The police undermined. Oxygen given to extremists.

When Livingstone rolled out the red carpet for Yusuf al-Qaradawi — who defends Palestinian suicide bombing and believes the Holocaust was “divine punishment” — I was horrified. I argued against it, but was overruled.

During al-Qaradawi’s visit in 2004, a young Muslim lawyer was asked at a parliamentary hearing whether he thought it was appropriate to invite him. Khan, then a human rights lawyer, refused to condemn him: “What I can say with regard to personal views is that I would not believe all the hype. Quotes attributed to this man may or may not be true.”

I voted against Khan because I felt his record shows he, like Livingstone, has been too willing to turn a blind eye to extremism. I can accept he was just doing his job representing Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called “20th hijacker” on 9/11.

But I cannot accept his decade-long campaigning for convicted terrorists Babar Ahmed and Talha Ahsan — responsible for the first western jihadist websites.

I cannot accept his decade-long association with Tooting imam Suliman Gani, who on the night of the Paris attacks attended an extremist event calling for an Islamic state. Khan shared platforms with Gani over many years, including speaking outside Tooting mosque following a march for Palestine in 2009 that called for a boycott of Israeli goods.

And I find it troubling that he has never said whether he tried to dissuade his former brother-in-law — who used to call openly for a “full-scale war of jihad” — from being involved in the extremist group al-Muhajiroun.

This is exactly the same attitude to extremism I saw with Livingstone and I see with Corbyn. Extremists rely and thrive on politicians who look the other way. They muddy the water by responding to any challenge with the charge of “Islamophobia”.

Sadly, politicians of the hard left fall too easily for this ploy. Politicians like Khan, who know full well with whom they are dealing, but choose to hear no evil because it suits their electoral ends.

Whatever Khan says now, it is clear to me that if elected, he will revert to type. We will see the same radical politics at City Hall we saw under Livingstone, with profound implications for the police, transport investment, council tax rates and our global reputation.

He would “fight” against the Tory government — like Livingstone fought the Blair government — to make political points, rather than working with it to get a better deal for London.

Corbyn will use Khan’s city hall as a shield to bolster the hard-left Momentum movement. He will use a Khan victory as evidence that he can win. And don’t be surprised to see Livingstone back in the administration. He and Corbyn will be the winners, and London will be the loser.

3 responses to “Atma Singh says of Sadiq Khan “He will revert to type”

  1. This is terrifying and mustn’t be allowed to happen. Very convincing argument – Atma Singh was on the inside, he saw what Ken was like and it rings true Sadiq will revert to type.

  2. There is no substance to this at all. Atma is a very nice but slightly embittered man from his falling out with Livingstone, and on this he is absolutely wrong. Sadiq is a centre-Left sensible, secular and rooted Labour politician. I voted for Tessa Jowell too in the internal selection but Tessa and all other Labour figures are now strongly backing Sadiq. He did not run on a left platform. He is absolutely clear that he will make a priority of tackling fundamentalism and intolerance of any shape. It is a huge shame that Atma has stooped to the tactics of Zac, trying to stir islamophobia. Sadiq has toures churches, temples, synagogues and mosques making it clear he will represent and celebrate the religions of all, and respect those of us who have no faith. This is the wonder of London – a rich tapestry of cultures, faiths and beliefs but on an open, tolerant and dynamic City – ONE London. To suggest that Khan has any links whatsoever with Momentum is preposterous. Sadiq had been absolutely clear – he is pro-business; pro London as a global and prosperous City (with the fruits benefiting everyone) and pro-Europe. Sadiq is not Ken, he is fighting on air quality, on more police nm the beat and on at least 50% of new housing being affordable. This is what London needs. Ken was the right man for his time, now Sadiq is the right person to take London forward.

    • I’m sorry, David. Lord Sugar has pulverised Sadiq Khan in the Sunday Times, warning everyone not to vote for him. It is laughable according to Lord Sugar. to pretend Sadiq is pro business and business leaders refuse to support him.

      Sadiq Khan has been shown up for what he is, an opportunist and a liar, who says what people want to hear. nobody believes him, he is a hard left trouble maker, a wolf in sheeps clothing and I am so glad Atma and Lord Sugar have warned Londoners, because he will be a disaster for London .

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