London Mayor Sadiq Khan has acknowledged that he failed to provide “proper leadership” throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
In an interview with The Times, Mr Khan went into unusual detail about how the COVID-19-induced lockdown has effected his mental health, saying that the past 10-11 weeks have been “the hardest of [his] professional life, in relation to the loneliness.”
“I’ve found it really tough,” Mr Khan said in the interview. “So, for eight weeks I didn’t leave, literally, my home and Tooting Common. That’s it. I thrive on company, on being out and about. And I was struggling.”
When Mr Khan, who has been London Mayor since 2016 and before that Labour MP for Tooting Common, was explicitly asked by The Times whether the lockdown has had an impact on his mental health, he responded: “I’ve got no doubt it did. In the sense of just feeling a bit down. There are days when I’m not providing proper leadership. I definitely… felt fragile.”
“Being a leader is lonely. And I’ve struggled. I also realised I should feel confident talking about it. I shouldn’t feel that I’ve got to be this alpha male who demonstrates his virility by being superhuman,” Mr Khan added.
Khan revealed that he had not been invited to any of the government’s emergency Cobra meetings unit late march, aimed at crafting a rapid response to the Covid-19 outbreak. The mayor claims that despite penning a letter to Health Secretary Matthew Hancock to be involved in the planning as far back as February, he was not invited to attend.