Sadiq Khan has admitted struggling with his mental health during lockdown.
The Mayor of London said he is used to and ‘can deal with stress’, but described how the ‘past 10, 11 weeks have been the hardest of [his] professional life’.
In an interview with The Times, he said: ‘I’ve found it really tough. So, for eight weeks I didn’t leave, literally, my home in Tooting Common. That’s it.
‘I thrive on company, on being out and about. And I was struggling.’
Asked whether it had affected his mental health, he added: ‘I’ve 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… I felt fragile.’
Mr Khan also discussed the Black Lives Matter movement, controversies over his handling of Transport for London (TfL) during the crisis and the boarding up of some of the capital’s iconic statues.
On the former, he said he ‘can’t but endorse’ the protests, adding that he ‘suspects’ he would have joined marchers were it not for the pandemic.
He said that the decision to clad monuments including the statue of Sir Winston Churchill in Parliament Square – which Prime Minister Boris Johnson called ‘absurd and shameful’ – had been taken in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police to ensure they were protected.
Referencing the deal he struck with the Government to secure an urgent bailout for TfL after rvenue streams collapsed in the wake of lockdown, he said he felt ‘stitched up’ by the condition that he hikes up prices a year before standing for re-election.
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