Emma Best: Swift lover Khan risks reputation with failure to speak now on album choice

The Conservative’s fearless challenge may be referred to the tortured poets’ department reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

Conservative London Assembly member Emma Best
Emma Best AM

Sadiq Khan was put on the spot today as he appeared unable to name a single Taylor Swift album, despite professing to being a “proud Swiftie”.

The London mayor was asked four times which of the global megastar’s albums was his favourite by Emma Best, deputy leader of the London Assembly’s Conservative group.

Best had been asking Khan at Mayor’s Question Time about the possibility of a second entrance at Chingford station, before saying that she would be using the station to go and see one of Swift’s upcoming concerts this summer.

The artist is booked to perform a total of eight shows at Wembley Stadium in June and August. The mayor recently told the Independent newspaper he was excited by the fact she has chosen to play more nights in London than any other city.

“As a proud Swiftie, I’m very excited that the phenomenal Taylor Swift is coming to London next month and her amazing fanbase here in the capital and beyond will give her a big London welcome,” he told the paper.

Referring to these comments, Best said: “I was happy to hear that you are yourself a Swiftie, and we have some common ground – so I wondered, what is your favourite era?”

The mayor replied: “Well, as an ‘anti-hero’, you’ll appreciate that the era I like the best are Labour eras.”

The Tory member repeated: “What’s your favourite Taylor Swift era?”

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But Khan tried to move on to another subject, butchering the name of one of Swift’s most famous songs by saying: “Oh listen, I think we’re not going to ‘shake it out’ today. But the key thing is to make sure that-”

Best cut in, asking him twice again for his favourite Taylor Swift album.

“I’d like to know that it’s your favourite when I’m listening to it,” she added.

“As a Swiftie, you’ll appreciate that they’re all my favourites,” said the mayor.

“I think you don’t know one, Mr Mayor, and I think you’re trying to latch on to the Swiftie stardom, to say that you’re a Swiftie,” Best said, adding: “I’m onto you, Mr Mayor, thank you.”

The mayor hit back: “You know the Tories are desperate when they think association with Taylor Swift will help them win the election.

“The reality is, no other city in the world has as many Taylor Swift concerts as London, and we can’t wait.”

Assembly chairman Andrew Boff admitted to being less of a fan. He told the chamber: “I keep thinking – Taylor who?

“I haven’t a clue. I listened to one of her songs the other day – what tripe.”

Labour assembly member Joanne McCartney then raised her hand to speak, prompting the mayor to slip in another reference to one of Swift’s songs by saying: “Chair, she’s been waiting a ‘fortnight’ to ask the question.”

McCartney, who as ‘statutory deputy mayor’ is Khan’s second-in-command, tried to rescue her boss from embarrassment by saying: “Perhaps the answer to your favourite Taylor Swift album would be the album ‘Red’?”

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