Sadiq Khan re-elected Mayor of London after narrower than expected victory over Tory challenger Shaun Bailey

Sadiq Khan has been re-elected Mayor of London after a narrower than expected victory over Conservative challenger Shaun Bailey.

The Labour candidate’s victory was confirmed at City Hall on Saturday night and means Sadiq Khan begins a second term as mayor.

Mr Khan faced what appeared to be an anxious wait as an overnight tally showed he won 39% of first preference votes with Shaun Bailey winning 37%.

However, Sadiq Khan had a strong lead in pre-election opinion polls and still remained favourite to win.

Mr Khan took 1,206,034 votes after second preferences were taken into account, compared to Mr Bailey at 977,601.

Speaking shortly after being re-elected Mr Khan said:

"I'm deeply humbled by the trust Londoners have placed in me to continue leading the greatest city of Earth. I promise to strain every sinew to help build a better and brighter future for London after the dark days of the pandemic and to create a greener, fairer and safer city where all Londoners get the opportunities they need to fulfil their potential."

He added: "I'm proud to have won an overwhelming mandate today, I want to thank everyone who voted for me. Labour voters and non-Labour voters. And I want to speak to every Londoner who didn't vote for me this week. I will never ignore your voice, your concerns, or your worries. I will always be a mayor for all Londoners working to improve the lives of every single person in this city."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan

Sadiq Khan said the results of the elections around the country showed the UK remained "deeply divided". He said the scars of Brexit were "yet to heal" and a "crude culture war" was pushing people further apart.

"There's a growing gap between our cities and our towns and economic equality is getting worse," Mr Khan said.

In a speech from City Hall after he was defeated, Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey said Londoners had not “written him off”.

He said: “As I went through these, for me what was two years of campaigning, one feeling felt familiar to me, one challenge had always felt the same.

“And that was the feeling of being written off – by pollsters, by journalists, by fellow politicians.

“But it’s no surprise to me that Londoners didn’t write me off - when you come from where I come from and see the things I've seen as a poor boy who's been homeless, who's been unemployed, a youth worker in the city - you understand London is generous in spirit and will give you a hearing," Mr Bailey said.

He added he was proud his campaign was able to "shine a light" on the issues many Londoners felt were not being heard.

"I was glad to shine light a light on safety, the fact many Londoners can't afford a home and being priced out of London by a relentless renewal of tax," he said.

Mr Bailey also thanked his mum, wife and children for supporting him.

Saturday night's result will be a glimmer of hope to the Labour Party after it received a drubbing in local elections in England, losing control of a host of councils and a humiliating defeat in the Hartlepool by-election.

Mr Khan was first elected mayor of the capital in 2016 in a landslide victory, breaking the Conservatives’ eight-year hold on City Hall.