It shouldn’t matter that Sadiq Khan is a Muslim; and to most Londoners it doesn’t.

Allister Hayman

They elected a mayor who also happens to be a Muslim; but to the world the city has elected a Muslim mayor - the first major Western city to do so (apologies, Rotterdam) - and that’s why it does matter.

Londoners heard the (very audible) ‘dog whistle’ of Zac Goldsmith’s misguided campaign, shrugged, said ‘not for us, thanks’, and put their crosses in Khan’s box.

In all, 1.3 million voted for him, giving the new Labour mayor the largest personal mandate of any UK politician, ever. In that, London showed why it is such a great global city.

What will mayor Khan do with his mandate?

His first priority is tackling the housing crisis. Khan put housing at the centre of his campaign, highlighting how the lack of affordable homes is not only bad for Londoners who are priced out, but also bad for businesses, which worry their workers can no longer afford to live in the capital.

That, he argued, is bad for London’s competitiveness. The diagnosis is good, but what of the treatment?

Frankly, there is little Khan has promised that will bring about the sea change required to lift the number of houses built in London, which currently languishes below 30,000 completions a year, up to the more than 50,000 required.

The promise to make half of those houses affordable is fanciful - last year just 6,856 affordable homes were built.

Sadiq in a hat 2016

Like Ken Livingstone, Khan will quickly find a blanket 50% target is unachievable and counterproductive - it will render sites unviable, meaning fewer homes will be built, not more. Instead, Khan must work with developers, not against them, and adopt a pragmatic and flexible approach.

Other promises - such as rent controls and ‘use it or lose it’ powers - could cause real damage to the market, but fortunately are not entirely in his gift. They would require government action.

Tackling the supply shortfall requires radical action, such as building on the scrappy parts of the green belt or funnelling affordable housing investment into outer boroughs - both are politically toxic, but would make a real difference to supply.

The absence of such strong medicine means that only one in five of you thinks the new mayor has any chance of curing London’s housing ills (just see the result of our poll).

Poll result

But this is not an issue we can shrug off.

Let’s make the case for radical action and help the new mayor deliver - London’s pre-eminence is at stake.

Global competition

If any reminder was needed that London’s global status is by no means guaranteed, Larry Silverstein provides it.

The World Trade Center developer is utterly unfazed by talk of a London-New York rivalry; for Silverstein, New York is unquestionably top of the pile, and his case is compelling.

Larry Silverstein

This week we also travel to Iceland, where there are fears the ‘miracle’ recovery could be overheating, and to Moscow, where Ikea Russia is spearheading a new dining concept to rival anything London can offer. I hope our travels offer you food for thought.