Sadiq Khan complains of his 'lack of power and influence' at inquiry - 'The ego has landed!'

Sadiq Khan complains of his 'lack of power and influence' at inquiry - 'The ego has landed!'
Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke

Published: 27/11/2023

- 14:47

Updated: 27/11/2023

- 15:34

Khan claimed that 'not being trusted' meant he had been unable to give advice that may have saved lives

Sadiq Khan has been criticised for telling the Covid Inquiry that he was “kept in the dark” by the Government during the pandemic.

He claimed he could have done more if he had been invited to Cobra meetings in February and early March.

The London Mayor told the inquiry today: "I had been kept in the dark as the elected Mayor of London and I felt almost winded in relation to what was happening in London and also realising there were things we could have done in relation to some of these issues.”

He added: “I was alarmed by what I was being told in relation to where we were and where we may go to. I will never forget that sort of feeling of lack of power, lack of influence, not knowing what was happening in our city.”

WATCH: Tony Devenish accuses Khan of having an 'ego'

Khan added that “not being trusted” meant he had been unable to “give the advice from the coalface that may have made a difference” and saved more lives.

Reacting to his remarks, London Assembly member for West Central Tony Devenish accused him of having an "ego", claiming he is "pretty irrelevant".

He told GB News: "The ego has landed as usual, hasn't it. I'm afraid this is a really serious subject. We all know what COVID meant.

"My mother was in a care home aged 90 at the time. And I just think what we don't need at an inquiry this important is people retrospectively coming up with these ridiculous statements and it really is.

"The reality is - and I don't mean to be disrespectful to Mr Khan - but the people that did all the work - the British public know this - during COVID were the National Health Service and your local council. And frankly, I had more involvement as a Westminster Councillor than I did as a GLA member."

He added: "Mr. Blair. Brought in the 1999 GLA act. He didn't think through what this extra level of government's done.

"Therefore, Mr. Khan has spent most of the last seven years just issuing press releases. The fact is, he is pretty irrelevant.

"Transport for London were important. The Met Police of course were very important but the GLA as a whole and Mr. Khan as often a just an extra press release."

Khan told the inquiry it was a “frustration” that he would frequently discover things about the handling of the pandemic from newspapers rather than the Government.

Tony Devenish

London Assembly member for West Central Tony Devenish accused Khan of having an "ego"


He said it had been a “common theme” that he and the leaders of devolved governments were “discovering stuff in the media” that “we either hadn’t agreed upon or hadn’t said”.

The London Mayor said: "This is the frustrating thing. If the Government under different prime ministers can trust us on issues to do with terrorism, counter-terrorism, and other issues, you’d think they’d be able to trust us when it comes to issues to do with a civil emergency, a crisis like the pandemic.

"I think there was bad faith on the part of some members of the Government, without being party political, and they projected that on us, whether it’s first ministers or mayors, which I think is unfair."

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