Mayor of London Sadiq Khan greets James Corden at the party in Los Angeles on Tuesday last week, which was touted as an attempt to boost London's tourism industry
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle secretly invited Sadiq Khan to a meeting at their £11million California mansion during his ‘vanity’ tour of America, it emerged today. 

The Sussexes made the offer after they had to turn down the Mayor of London’s invitation to be the star guests at a glitzy party he hosted in Los Angeles during last week’s five-day jaunt, which is said to have cost taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds. 

However, Mr Khan turned the offer down due to ‘logistical difficulties’ – apparently including a busy schedule and the 90-minute drive from his party in West Hollywood to their home near Santa Barbara. A spokesman for the Archewell Foundation did not deny the story when contacted by The Standard. 

Mr Khan, 51, is a friend of Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and it is likely he would want to avoid being drawn into the ‘civil war’ between the Sussexes and the rest of the Royal Family. 

The Mayor met William before the FA Cup final last weekend, and also appeared alongside the Queen during the opening of Crossrail on Tuesday. 

Meghan and Harry sent three members of staff to the party, held on Tuesday last week, including James Holt, Nick Clegg’s former communications chief who is now executive director of the Archewell Foundation. 

The bash was held at Holloway House, part of the Soho House  empire, and attended by a raft of celebrities including James Corden and Richard Curtis.  

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan greets James Corden at the party in Los Angeles on Tuesday last week, which was touted as an attempt to boost London's tourism industry

Meghan and Harry at the Invictus Games

The Sussexes invited Sadiq Khan to their Santa Barbara mansion after they turned down an invitation to appear at his glitzy LA party last week (where he is seen greeting James Corden, left) 

Mr Khan turned the offer down due to 'logistical difficulties' - including a packed schedule and the 90-minute drive from his party in West Hollywood to their home near Santa Barbara

Mr Khan turned the offer down due to ‘logistical difficulties’ – including a packed schedule and the 90-minute drive from his party in West Hollywood to their home near Santa Barbara

Mr Khan’s ‘swanning around’ the US is likely to have cost British taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds, with critics questioning whether the transatlantic trip is ‘to promote London or to promote himself’.

Critics have suggested that Mayor Khan is so keen for publicity on the trip he calls a £10million trade mission that even a cup of coffee with former Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, was turned into a photo op.

And after jetting across the country to the Silicon Valley in California, The Mayor of London grabbed more headlines after he said Donald Trump’s term as US president led to a significant rise in racial abuse directed at him – and urged Elon Musk not to let the billionaire return to Twitter unless he was sure Trump had ‘learned his lesson’.

London Conservatives told MailOnline there are questions about ‘probity and transparency’ in the Mayor’s office after their demand to know what the trip has cost Londoners, who have been handed a record 8.8 per cent council tax increase, was knocked back.

Suspicions were raised after Mr Khan shared a tweet thanking United Airlines for ‘getting me to NYC safely’, prompting speculation the £12bn airline may have provided free or discounted flights.

City Hall has said that the full costs of the visit will be calculated on the Mr Khan’s return to London. 

But a week-long trip to China by Boris Johnson when he was mayor cost taxpayers £65,000 due to flights, accommodation and expenses for him and his entourage.

The Mayor of London was heavily criticised for his decision to travel to America at the height of the cost of living crisis, with opponents questioned whether it was ‘to promote London or to promote himself’.

And after jetting across the country to the Silicon Valley in California, he grabbed more headlines after he said Donald Trump’s term as US president led to a significant rise in racial abuse directed at him – and urged Elon Musk not to let the billionaire return to Twitter unless he was sure Trump had ‘learned his lesson’.

Amid suggestions commercial sponsorship and public cash may be funding the trip, London Assembly member for Croydon, Neil Garratt, who is Conservative spokesman for the economy and tourism in London, wrote to the Mayor demanding to know the cost of the trip and who is paying. 

Mr Garratt told MailOnline Mr Khan has been ‘swanning around America promoting himself’ while on a taxpayer-funded ‘jolly overseas’, hours after Home Secretary Priti Patel said his ‘time would be better spent focusing on knife and drug crime in London’ rather than being in America.

‘The insider view at City Hall is he’s leaving politics at the end of his second term, so this week looks more like a self-promoting “gizza job” tour at taxpayers’ expense’, Mr Garratt said, adding: ‘Is this a trip for the Mayor to promote London or to promote himself? The Mayor should do that on his own time, not at the cost of tens of thousands of pounds of public money’.

London Conservatives told MailOnline there are questions about ‘probity and transparency’ in the Mayor’s office after their demand to know what the trip is costing Londoners, who have been handed a record 8.8 per cent council tax increase, was knocked back.

Suspicions were raised after Mr Khan shared a tweet thanking United Airlines for ‘getting me to NYC safely’, prompting speculation the £12bn airline may have provided free or discounted flights. 

City Hall has said that the full costs of the visit will be calculated on the Mr Khan’s return to London. But a week-long trip to China by Boris Johnson when he was mayor cost taxpayers £65,000 due to flights, accommodation and expenses for him and his entourage. 

The Labour Mayor visited a licensed cannabis cultivation business in Los Angeles. A Tory rival at City Hall said his face appeared so blank, they asked: 'Can you get high from just smelling the stuff??'

The Labour Mayor visited a licensed cannabis cultivation business in Los Angeles. A Tory rival at City Hall said his face appeared so blank, they asked: ‘Can you get high from just smelling the stuff??’

Earlier in the week Mr Khan threw the first pitch at the San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies baseball game at Oracle Park

Earlier in the week Mr Khan threw the first pitch at the San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies baseball game at Oracle Park

He was asked for a selfie with Female Founders of London & Partners' trade mission at Plug & Play in Silicon Valley

He was asked for a selfie with Female Founders of London & Partners’ trade mission at Plug & Play in Silicon Valley

The Labour Mayor makes Hillary Clinton laugh as they meet at the Clinton Foundation offices in New York

The Labour Mayor makes Hillary Clinton laugh as they meet at the Clinton Foundation offices in New York

Mr Khan also raised eyebrows with his ‘fact finding mission’ to a California cannabis farm so he can explore the potential benefits of legalising the drug in the capital.  Hours earlier he was at a LA party with late-night TV host and former Londoner James Corden, who he embraced at a drinks reception also attended Love Actually director Richard Curtis.

The former Labour MP, who previously admitted smoking cannabis on a friend’s stag do in Amsterdam in his twenties, stared blankly at the plants as he wandered through them. Tory Leader at City Hall, Susan Hall, tweeted a picture of the visit and said: ‘That’s an interesting look on his face. Can you get high from just smelling the stuff??’ 

The visit to the drug farm sparked an angry rebuke from Tory Home Secretary Priti Patel, who reminded him he does not have the power to change the criminal law and his ‘time would be better spent focusing on knife and drug crime in London’.

Mr Khan also included New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, where he launched a £10million campaign to bring more tourists to the British capital.

The Mayor’s spokesman said last week: ‘The Mayor is in America to bang the drum for London. A big part of our continued recovery from the pandemic will be attracting international tourism, business and investment to our city once again. Tourism accounts for as many as one in five jobs in London and contributes almost 12 per cent of the city’s Gross Domestic Product.

‘The Mayor is committed to keeping the costs of the visit to a bare minimum and maximising value for money. Flight arrangements, including the Mayor’s, are part of a broader agreement between the Greater London Authority and United Airlines.’

 

Sadiq Khan with the Coldstream Guards at the 'Let's Do London' in a 'Times Square Takeover'

Sadiq Khan with the Coldstream Guards at the ‘Let’s Do London’ in a ‘Times Square Takeover’

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan walks to a television interview in New York City on the first day of a 5 day visit to the US

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan walks to a television interview in New York City on the first day of a 5 day visit to the US

Last Monday Mr Khan attended the launch of an international tourism campaign – Let’s Do London – in Times Square, after being photographed wandering around New York like a tourus

Despite being in America to promote tourism, Mr Khan still found time to take centre stage at the San Francisco Giant’s stadium to take the ceremonial first pitch.

He had even found time to practice his throw while in Central Park, New York, the previous day.

Mr Khan’s visit to the States took him from meetings with Hilary Clinton and the Mayor of New York on the East Coast on Monday to the tech firms of Silicon Valley on Tuesday, where he met with Google and LinkedIn executives in San Francisco,

While there, the mayor also waded into the debate over whether Donald Trump should be allowed back on Twitter after its new owner, Elon Musk, suggested he would reinstate his account.

Mr Khan said the former president’s period in office had led to a significant rise in racial abuse directed at him – and sharply dropped after he was banned.

Mr Trump first criticised the London leader in 2016 for his response to the London Bridge terror attacks, then during a visit to the UK in 2019 called Mr Khan a ‘stone cold loser’ who had failed to manage crime rates in the capital.

Mr Khan, who is also the first Muslim to be elected the mayor of a major Western city, said Mr Musk should ‘wait and see’ if Mr Trump had learnt his lesson.

‘If it’s the case that Donald Trump is going to use Twitter responsibly, I think that’s all well and good.

‘If he breaks the rules, there needs to be consequences and we can’t afford a situation where people think social media is where people behave irresponsibly, where you see an increase in not just racism, sexism and misogyny but also division.’

Mayor Khan walks through cannabis plants which are being legally cultivated at 'Traditional' a licensed factory in Los Angeles

Mayor Khan walks through cannabis plants which are being legally cultivated at ‘Traditional’ a licensed factory in Los Angeles

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan speaking during a visit to the Islamic Centre of Southern California in Los Angeles, Wednesday May 11, 2022

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan speaking during a visit to the Islamic Centre of Southern California in Los Angeles, Wednesday May 11, 2022

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (left) meeting Mayor of LA Eric Garcetti at City Hall in Los Angeles. Wednesday May 11, 2022

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (left) meeting Mayor of LA Eric Garcetti at City Hall in Los Angeles. Wednesday May 11, 2022

During the trip, City Hall announced this week US league baseball matches will again be played in London from next Summer.

To celebrate, Mr Khan took centre stage at the Giants’ stadium wearing an oversized jersey with his name emblazoned on it.

Commentators said he received a ‘modest reception’ from the 21,000 fans when introduced during the interval.

He later told ITV London: ‘One of the things I have been making clear during this trip is my aspiration to have London as the sporting capital of the world – not just American football, baseball, boxing, tennis, cricket and so forth, but at some stage we would like the Olympics back as well..’

And yesterday’s cannabis farm visit in Los Angeles and new decriminalisation group puts him on a collision course with Labour leader Keir Starmer.

A party spokesperson confirmed: ‘Labour does not support changing the law on drugs.

‘Drugs policy is not devolved to mayors and under Labour would continue to be set by national government.’ 

Sadiq Khan meets children at the Islamic Centre of Southern California during a visit to Los Angeles on day 3 of a planned 5 day

Sadiq Khan meets children at the Islamic Centre of Southern California during a visit to Los Angeles on day 3 of a planned 5 day

Sadiq Khan pitches the first ball at the San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies baseball game at Oracle Park

He then spoke to Gabe Kapler, manager of the Giants

Sadiq Khan pitches the first ball at the San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies baseball game at Oracle Park. He then spoke to Gabe Kapler, manager of the Giants

The Mayor of London with his personalised Major League baseball jersey

The Mayor of London with his personalised Major League baseball jersey

Khan takes part in a Q&A with students at Stanford University in California hosted by student Rustom Birdie

Khan takes part in a Q&A with students at Stanford University in California hosted by student Rustom Birdie

The Mayor of London said former justice secretary Lord Charlie Falconer QC will be the chair of the first London Drugs Commission, which will assess the effectiveness of UK drug laws.

Cannabis is currently classed as a class B drug, with a maximum sentence of five years in prison for possession. And while he can influence the debate, Mr Khan has no say in changing the law.

Though advocates say smoking or eating the drug can make people feel happier, sceptics warn that regular cannabis use increases the risk of developing a psychotic illness. Results from European neighbours offer an insight into the potential pitfalls of the policy – with Portugal seeing a huge surge in cannabis-induced psychosis after it decriminalised the drug in 2001.

Mr Khan later visited Gorrila RX Wellness shop in the Crenshaw area of the city, which stocks 1,900 brands of cannabis-related products including beverages, edibles and coffee beans.

Kika Keith, owner of the shop, said the decriminalisation of cannabis in the UK would ‘tremendously help’ London’s black community. 

Sadiq Khan practices his pitching in Central Park in New York

Sadiq Khan practices his pitching in Central Park in New York

A trip to a coffee shop for the jet-lagged mayor with former New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg was also turned into a photo op

A trip to a coffee shop for the jet-lagged mayor with former New York mayor, Michael Bloomberg was also turned into a photo op

London mayor Sadiq Khan speaks during the 'Let's Do London' U.S. tourism campaign launch in Times Square

London mayor Sadiq Khan speaks during the ‘Let’s Do London’ U.S. tourism campaign launch in Times Square

Perhaps unaware of who was, Mayor Khan walked through Manhattan with New Yorkers on the first day of his trip

Perhaps unaware of who was, Mayor Khan walked through Manhattan with New Yorkers on the first day of his trip

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