LONDON (Diya TV) — Pictures of London’s first Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan’s visit to Shri Swaminarayan, one of the city’s most famous temples, just days before his election have been made public and immediately went viral.

During his visit to the temple, Khan was seen interacting with its members and participating in some of the rituals. In one of the photos, a Hindu priest is seen tying a string around Khan’s wrist. In another, Khan is seen performing “Jalabhishek” on a golden idol of Shri Swaminarayan.

“Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden is one of my favourite places in London,” Khan said in a Facebook post. “As Mayor, I will stand up for London’s Indian community, and strengthen London’s friendship with India. I look forward to leading a trade delegation to India at the earliest opportunity,” he continued.

The son of a Pakistani immigrant bus driver and a seamstress, Khan defeated Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith, the son of a billionaire financier, by the largest individual margin in British political history. Goldsmith’s camp has been criticized for using tactics believed to cash in on the popularity of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Several of Goldsmith’s campaign leaflets read with the message, “Standing up for the British-Indian community.”


“Let me be very clear, I’m not a Muslim leader or Muslims’ spokesperson, I’m the mayor of London. I speak for all Londoners,” said Khan, a member of the Labour party, which assumed control of the UK capital after an eight-year hiatus.

“My life story will be familiar to many Londoners of Indian origin. My parents moved here to build a better life for their family in the 1970’s. They instilled a real work ethic in us kids, and huge respect for education, entrepreneurship and community.

“Supporting growth and innovation will be a priority – as someone who has helped to run my own business, I’ll be the most pro-business mayor London has ever had. I’ll support small businesses and challenge the government’s unfair visa restrictions which make it harder for businesses to find the skills they need.”