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Under the Labour government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Khan was appointed Minister of State for Communities in 2008, later becoming Minister of State for Transport.A key ally of former Labour leader Ed Miliband, he served in the Miliband's Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, Shadow Lord Chancellor, and Shadow Minister for London.Khan studied science and mathematics at A-level, in the hope of eventually becoming a dentist.A teacher recommended that he read law instead, as he had an argumentative personality. He read Law at the University of North London (now London Metropolitan University).This prompted Cox, then in his mid-70s, to announce his retirement rather than risk de-selection.In the subsequent selection contest, Khan defeated five other local candidates to become Labour's candidate for the seat.
The rules were retrospectively changed disallowing the claim, which had previously been approved by the House of Commons authorities.
claimed that a conversation between Khan and prisoner Babar Ahmad – a constituent accused and later convicted of involvement in terrorism – at Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes had been bugged by the Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorist Branch.
There was concern that the bugging contravened the Wilson Doctrine that police should not bug MPs.
He also said that British Muslims had their own part to play in reconnecting with politicians, arguing that they needed to rid themselves of a victim mentality and take greater responsibility for their own community.
In the House of Commons in January 2009, Khan criticised Pope Benedict XVI for the rehabilitation of Bishop Richard Williamson following his remarks about the Holocaust, a move he described as "highly unsavoury" and of "great concern".
Before entering Parliament, Khan represented Tooting as a Councillor for the London Borough of Wandsworth from 1994 to 2006, and was granted the title of Honorary Alderman of Wandsworth upon his retirement from local politics.