Khan and his siblings grew up in a three-bedroom council flat on the Henry Prince Estate in Earlsfield.He attended Fircroft Primary School and then Ernest Bevin School (now Ernest Bevin College), a local comprehensive.
His work to improve relations between Muslim communities and wider British society has seen him receive security threats from both Islamists and far-right activists.
His grandparents migrated from India to Pakistan following the partition of India in 1947, and his parents migrated to England from Pakistan shortly before Khan was born.
His late father, Amanullah Khan, worked as a bus driver for over 25 years; his mother, Sehrun, was a seamstress.
A member of the Labour Party, he is situated on the party's soft left and has been ideologically characterised as a social democrat.
Born in Tooting, South London to a working-class British Pakistani family, Khan gained a degree in Law from the University of North London.
He subsequently worked as a solicitor specialising in human rights, and chaired Liberty for three years.
Joining Labour, Khan was a Councillor for the London Borough of Wandsworth from 1994 to 2006 before being elected MP for Tooting in 2005.
Under the Labour government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown he was appointed Minister of State for Communities in 2008, later becoming Minister of State for Transport.
A key ally of Labour leader Ed Miliband, he served in Miliband's Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, Shadow Lord Chancellor, and Shadow Minister for London.