Sadiq Khan, London Mayor, Opens Up About Suspected Heart Attack at COP26

Recounts Striking Incident in Newly Released Book ‘Breathe’


In a shocking revelation, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, shares that he suffered a suspected minor heart attack at the United Nations’ COP26 climate conference in 2021. Khan elaborates on the incident in his new book ‘Breathe’, depicting the startling episode that unfolded during one of his key addresses at the summit held in Glasgow.

“Out of nowhere, I felt a knot in my chest – a kind of tightening,” Khan wrote in his book. “It was COP26 in Glasgow and I seemed to be having a heart attack.”

“My shirt was drenched with sweat and I felt like I was on fire.”

The Labour politician reports that he was carried off the stage while barely conscious and subsequently spent the night at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. He underwent an electrocardiogram (ECG), a chest X-ray, and blood tests. The tests identified a protein called troponin, which indicates unusual heart activity.

The initial troponin levels were borderline, but a subsequent test showed they had doubled, raising the possibility of a minor heart attack earlier that evening. Khan only sought medical help following a call from his mayoral health advisor, Dr Tom Coffey, despite initially refusing requests for an ambulance.

“I couldn’t believe it. I felt fine. I simply didn’t believe I had had a heart attack.”

The Mayor recollects the surreal experience of waiting in Glasgow Royal Infirmary for the results of his tests, divided between his mayoral responsibilities and his personal health. He was discharged around 6am the next day when a third test found the troponin levels were not critical.

Reflecting on the incident, Khan believes it “probably was a minor heart attack” although the exact cause of the health scare is not known. He highlighted the importance of taking care of physical and mental health and eating sensibly.

“I ran 5K this morning, my doctors will be pleased to know. It’s behind me now.”

The Mayor, who is contemplating a third term in City Hall, advises everyone to maintain their physical and mental fitness, emphasizing the need for regular check-ups and mental health conversations.

“Get checked out. I have regular check-ups with my heart expert, and regular check-ups in relation to talking to somebody about the mental challenges I face, and I feel better for it.”

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