No, Sadiq Khan didn't pledge 46,000 government-funded homes exclusively for Muslims

By: Rahul Adhikari
June 14 2024

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No, Sadiq Khan didn't pledge 46,000 government-funded homes exclusively for Muslims

Social media posts claim Sadiq Khan pledged 46,000 government-funded homes only for Muslims. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

Fact-Check

The Verdict False

The viral video of London Mayor Sadiq Khan discussing promises in his election manifesto and their impact on Muslims has been misinterpreted.

Claim ID b872a3c8

What is the claim?

Social media posts are circulating claiming that Sadiq Khan, recently re-elected for a third term as Mayor of London, pledged to build 46,000 government-funded homes exclusively for Muslims.

The posts include a screenshot of Khan holding a microphone with overlaid text stating, “Mayor of Londonistan 46,000 houses for young Muslims to be built in London” and “Young Muslims want to live near a mosque but feel priced out, so yeah, we're going to help them out.” Another line of text claims that Khan promised, “free education for the underpaid, underskilled ‘doctors and engineers’ that just arrived.” These posts are viral among U.K.-based users on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter). Archived links for these posts can be seen here, here, here, here, and here.

Screenshots of the social media posts. (Source: Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, the claim is false, and these statements have been incorrectly attributed to Khan. He pledged to build 40,000 council homes as part of his mayoral election manifesto, intended for all Londoners, not exclusively Muslims.

What is the truth?

Our investigation reveals the screenshot in the viral posts was taken from Khan’s interview with the U.K.-based Islam-focused media organization Islam Channel. The 3:52-minute interview (archived here), published on April 26 ahead of the 2024 mayoral polls, shows Khan did not propose building 46,000 homes exclusively for “young Muslims”. In the video, he discussed how his manifesto promises would benefit the Muslim community if re-elected.

He stated, “The big issue faced in London, particularly by Londoners of Islamic faith, is the issue of housing, and so we need to build far more homes in our city because, you know, often people from minority communities want to live near a mosque, near halal food, near places where other people like them, you know, for a variety of obvious reasons, and they're priced out because there are not enough houses. So we are going to build at least 40,000 council homes, and at least 6,000 rent-controlled homes….”

His statements regarding his manifesto’s benefits for Muslims, along with other Londoners, were misconstrued. He started the interview by emphasizing, “My manifesto is to help improve the lives of all Londoners. Over the last eight years, I've sought to be a mayor for all Londoners, whether you're Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Sikh, or Buddhist.”

The posts also falsely attribute to Khan a promise of “free education for the underpaid, underskilled doctors and engineers that just arrived”.

In the interview, Khan explained, “The second big thing, I know that many Londoners, who are Muslims, face is their children not fulfilling their potential. Often they are underemployed or in jobs that, you know, they can do better jobs but haven’t got the skills. Every Londoner who is on low income or not working will get free training to get the skills for jobs that are created in London.”

Clearly, Khan referred to an initiative benefiting all Londoners, which would consequently benefit Muslims. He did not promise free training for immigrants in London. The viral posts fabricate quotes and misattribute them to Khan.

Khan’s promise to build 46,000 homes

A report by The Guardian dated March 18, covering Khan's campaign for a third term as mayor of London, noted his commitment to building 40,000 council homes by 2030. The report highlighted Khan’s campaign focus on addressing London’s housing crisis.

According to a report by the Centre for London, more than 300,000 households are on the waiting list for social housing, and rough sleeping has increased by 50 percent in the last decade.

Khan’s election manifesto outlines measures to tackle London’s housing crisis. “Every Londoner should be able to afford somewhere they can call home, but far too many people in our city are being priced out. The housing crisis is a huge challenge, decades in the making, and there’s no simple fix,” it reads.

“I know from personal experience the vital role council housing plays by providing security for families, so I pledge to continue investing in new council housing and, working with a Labour government, commit to building at least 40,000 new council homes by 2030,” the manifesto further reads. The manifesto addresses various other measures to combat the housing crisis, with another section addressing homelessness.

It also includes plans to build “40,000 new council homes by 2030” and to end “rough sleeping for good by 2030 in partnership with a Labour government” as two of its top 10 pledges. However, it does not mention Muslims or specific aid for Muslims.

What did Khan’s office say?

Logically Facts contacted Khan’s office for clarification. A spokesperson for the Mayor of London stated, “The quote is completely false. The Mayor did not say these words – and in the full video can clearly be heard discussing his policy of providing free skills training to any young Londoner who is unemployed or in low-paid work, as well as talking about the need to build more housing for all.”

The verdict

The video of Sadiq Khan discussing his election manifesto for the Muslim community has been misinterpreted. He pledged to build at least 40,000 council homes and 6,000 rent-controlled homes if re-elected. Contrary to claims, he did not propose these homes exclusively for Muslims, nor did he promise free education for recently arrived underpaid or underskilled doctors and engineers.

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