Tories warned Sadiq Khan will quit and to focus Mayoral attack lines on Labour

Sadiq Khan speaks about suspected heart attack

Potential Conservative candidates are being warned Sadiq Khan may not be their opponent in next year’s London Mayor election and they need to focus their attacks on Labour instead.

Speculation is mounting the Labour leadership wants a different candidate to Mr Khan as they are worried that the election could be a referendum on his tenure as Mayor and represent the Conservatives’ best hopes of winning.

A source from one of the Tory mayor campaign teams said: “The word is that Sadiq won’t be running and Labour want someone else.

“That means we need to think of the campaign next year, in terms of London Labour’s record, not personalise it around Khan.

“Obviously, it would improve our chances greatly if he is running because the ULEZ expansion and other things have made him desperately unpopular.”

But a spokesman for Mr Khan dismissed the speculation.

He said: “There’s nothing to update on, Sadiq Khan is definitely running as the Labour candidate.”

Speculation though about him not running again is fuelled by recent reports about his health.

It was revealed yesterday he suffered a minor heart attack in 2021 while on stage at a climate change event in Scotland.

Mr Khan also revealed he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the death threats against him.

The two favourites to replace Mr Khan as Labour’s candidate are Tooting MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan and Brent Central MP Dawn Butler.

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If Dr Allin-Khan were to secure the nomination it would potentially open the door for Mr Khan to run for Parliament in his old constituency of Tooting again at the general election.

Potential Labour candidates have also let it be known they are looking at a possible selection contest in one of those two seats.

One told “Those of us looking at seats have been told to potentially consider Brent or Tooting if they become vacant because of the Mayoral election.”

It is likely though that candidates other than MPs will step forward for the Labour nomination should Mr Khan decide he has had enough.

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