London Mayor Sadiq Khan backs Hillary Clinton

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 08:32 GMT, Sep 16, 2016 |

Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim to become mayor of London, made his preference in the U.S. presidential election clear on Thursday night, telling reporters after an event in Chicago that he hopes Hillary Clinton wins.

Khan has verbally tangled with Donald Trump over the Republican’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States. On Thursday night, he urged Trump to “build bridges, not walls.”

Khan, who was elected mayor of Britain’s capital in May, did not attack Trump in his speech, saying he would be willing to meet with the candidate before the November election. But he added that he was “a big fan of Hillary Clinton.”

Khan spoke to about 250 people at an event organized by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

  “It’s up to Americans to decide who should be the next president. What I care about, though, is we shouldn’t inadvertently play into the hands of extremists who say it’s not possible to be somebody who is a mainstream Muslim,” Khan said.

“She’s obviously the most experienced candidate to run to be the president. As a father of two daughters, I think the message it sends … is phenomenal. I hope she wins,” he said.