World

LONDON: London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Tuesday demanded more autonomy for Britain’s capital in the wake of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

Khan, who became London’s first Muslim mayor last month, told an audience of top business leaders that the city must “take back control.”

His statement comes after a petition to make the capital an independent city-state attracted 175,000 signatures.

“On behalf of all Londoners, I am demanding more autonomy for the capital – right now,” he said according to the text of a speech supplied by his office.

“As much as I might like the idea of a London city state, I’m not seriously talking about independence today. I am not planning to install border points on the M25,” Khan said, referring to London’s orbital motorway.

Khan, who campaigned for Britain to stay in the EU, is seeking the devolution of tax raising powers, as well as more control over areas including business, transport, housing and planning, health and policing, his office said.

“More autonomy in order to protect London’s economy from the uncertainty ahead. More autonomy to protect the businesses from around the world who trade here, and more autonomy to protect our jobs, wealth and prosperity,” said Khan in his speech.

The mayor said London, a global financial center, must also have a seat in the negotiations with the EU over Britain’s future relationship with the bloc.