Posted on August 21, 2023

Sadiq Khan Plunged Into Race Row

Brendan Carlin and Isaac Crowson, Daily Mail, August 19, 2023

Sadiq Khan was plunged into a bitter row last night after his official website published a photograph of a young white family with the words: ‘Doesn’t represent real Londoners’.

The Labour London Mayor faced calls to apologise after the extraordinary message appeared in an official guide on how to portray the ‘brand’ of the Mayor and the Greater London Authority.

This was despite the fact that the guide opened with the words: ‘A City For All Londoners’ and a promise to appeal to ‘everyone no matter, their age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, disability or family make up’.

Last night, Mr Khan was forced to disown the caption for the picture, which shows a couple and their two children walking along the Thames, with Parliament in the background.

The Mayor’s spokesperson said: ‘The photo caption was added by a staff member in error, and doesn’t reflect the view of the Mayor or the Greater London Authority.’

She added that the content was now being ‘reviewed to ensure the language and guidance is appropriate’.

The entire guide – entitled ‘Look Book – Mayor of London Brand Guidelines’ – was also taken down from the official website shortly after The Mail on Sunday contacted Mr Khan’s office.

Last night, Susan Hall, the Tory candidate for next year’s London mayoral election, called on Mr Khan to issue an apology.

She said: ‘All Londoners are real Londoners, no matter their ethnicity, and Sadiq Khan needs to apologise and stop these desperate, politically-motivated attempts to divide people.’

She also attacked the London Mayor for the amount of space devoted in the brand guidelines to how he should be pictured.

A section goes into detail on the ‘best images of the Mayor’, including over 20 pictures of Mr Khan and with the advice that ‘photos of the Mayor should be active and engaging.

‘He should be shown interacting in real and relatable environments.’

It also warns: ‘When you photograph the Mayor, make sure his staff and any known/ political figures are out of the shot.’

It adds: ‘The photos we use should reflect a recognisable, real and diverse London.’

And in a veiled reference to Mr Khan’s predecessor as mayor, Boris Johnson, picture editors are also warned: ‘Never use images from the previous administration such as the ‘new bus for London” – a project championed by Mr Johnson.