Sadiq Kahn avoids 'Uber for Khan' moments as Labour lose 6-0 in soccer friendly
Sadiq Khan avoided any "Uber for Khan" moments despite suffering a 6-0 defeat alongside Labour colleagues in the politicians' annual conference football match against Westminster journalists.
Mr Khan, Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and Liverpool mayor Steve Rotheram all donned Labour colours for the one-sided defeat against so-called Lobby XI.
The game at Brighton and Hove Albion's training ground saw the Lobby race into a 5-0 lead at half-time.
The second half was a much more even affair, with Labour hitting the woodwork a number of times but failing to register on the scoresheet.
Other notable names in Labour ranks included MPs Stephen Kinnock, Justin Madders and Toby Perkins, with the rest of the team bolstered by party staffers.
Prominent backbencher Mr Kinnock, who stood in as captain after Ian Murray pulled out with a mysterious complaint, praised the speed of Mr Khan's play.
"There was no 'Uber for Khan', he played very well, he's a one-touch player, Sadiq - I think that's mainly because he wants to get rid of the ball as quickly as he can and run away," he told the Press Association.
Mr Kinnock, who is known for speaking out against the party leadership, dismissed suggestions that the shadow cabinet had snubbed the encounter.
Asked why no shadow cabinet members played, he replied: "What can I say? The PLP stand united, we're shoulder to shoulder as always, I'm sure the shadow cabinet was with us in spirit."
Summing up the game, he claimed the result was unfair despite acknowledging a string of saves from Labour keeper Mr Perkins.
"It was a good match, I think the fact that we lost 6-0 and our goalkeeper was Man of the match probably says a lot about the play," Mr Kinnock said.
"We hit the woodwork three times, we deserved a goal, I thought 6-3 would have been a fairer result."
Mr Burnham came closest for Labour in the first half with a spectacular volley, while Mr Madders was among those whose efforts rattled off the frame of the goal in the second half.
The matches are a tradition at both the Labour and Tory party conferences, with the game against the Conservatives set for next weekend in Manchester.
The result marks a change in fortune for the Lobby team, who were beaten in last year's fixture on penalties. The victorious Lobby team hit the net so many times that they failed to keep track of who scored all their goals.