Sadiq Khan: Death threats and terror attacks have given me PTSD

Sadiq Khan has said he is affected by mental trauma after dealing with regular death threats, disasters and terror attacks.

Speaking to The Guardian, Mr Khan said a number of events coming together caused a “cumulative” effect on his mental health, but affirmed he was not comparing it to the extreme level of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that refugees or people in similar situations to himself have experienced.

When asked if he suffered from PTSD, Mr Khan said: “Without a doubt. One of my best friends is a doctor and we talk about it. I think the phrase is cumulative.

“By the way, I’m not comparing what I am going through to some of the stuff people go through – as a lawyer my clients with PTSD were asylum seekers and refugees. I would never give equivalence to what I am going through, nor would I ever want people to feel sorry for me.

“I’m very privileged to do the job I do.”

He added: “By the way, if this means I’m a snowflake, so be it, right? Mental health is fragile if it’s not looked after. And I shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it.”

Mr Khan spoke of the interactions he had with former US president Donald Trump on Twitter which led to a large increase in threats towards him on social media.

Speaking about the attack at the Finsbury Park mosque in 2017, Mr Khan said: “The terrorist was looking for me.

“He couldn’t find me so he decided to target Jeremy Corbyn and Muslims. Every time Trump says something horrible about me there’s a massive increase in hatred towards me on social media.

“Then there are people who follow Daesh (Islamic State) and al Qaida who think you can’t be a Muslim and a westerner, I get it from both sides in relation to the death threats.”

Mr Khan also admitted he lost his mojo during the pandemic, and struggled to think clearly and to inspire his team.

He is running to be elected into his third term as London’s mayor and told The Guardian he ultimately hopes to serve six terms.

He has written a book called Breathe: Tackling the Climate Emergency, which details his goal to make London a cleaner city.