Labour Party MP Margaret Hodge has quit the race to become London Mayor, calling for a politician from a Black or Ethnic Minority background to succeed current mayor Boris Johnson.
Mrs Hodge, the Member of Parliament for Barking in East London, told the Evening Standard that she will be backing either David Lammy, the Guyanese-origin MP for Tottenham or British Pakistani MP for Tooting, Sadiq Khan.
“I actually think the time is right for us to have a non-white mayor,” she said.
“London is a diverse city but we are poor at representation. But let’s wait and see what the candidates say they can do for London.”
She told the Standard that Mr Khan, the first Muslim to attend Cabinet, was a “fighter” who had “a good story to tell” whilst Mr Lammy was an “important symbol” of cosmopolitan London.
Diane Abbott is the only other politician from a Black or Ethnic Minority (BME) background contesting the election.
British Pakistani Labour MP Sadiq Khan
Mrs Hodge’s comments come as polls suggested that support for Mr Khan has surged in recent weeks.
With the election just over 12 months away, a YouGov poll indicates Mr Khan enjoys 19% of the support of his party, just behind Labour’s main candidate Tessa Jowell.