London Mayor Sadiq Khan has been forced to disavow an official guide after a picture featuring a white family was described by his office as not representing “real Londoners.”
The controversial photo was featured in an official guide on how to portray the “brand” of the mayor of the Greater London Authority, with a photo of white couple and their two children walking along the Thames being offered as a “bad” example. The guide discouraged any similar photos for branding, noting it “doesn’t represent real Londoners.”
By contrast, a picture of Khan surrounded by visible minorities was portrayed as favorable by the guide, offering it as an example of “recognizable, real and diverse London.” The difference between the captions was stark, especially as the guide promised to appeal to “everyone no matter, their age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, disability or family make up.”
After the Daily Mail investigated the photo, the spokesman for Khan claimed that “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,” adding that the guide was being “reviewed to ensure the language and guidance is appropriate.” As of the time of writing, the entire guide is not available on the official City of London website.
Susan Hall, the Conservative candidate for the upcoming mayoral election, said that Khan’s office needed to go further and issue a full apology.
“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,” Hall said.
Nigel Farage, the former leader of the Brexit Party and current GB News presenter, tweeted that “Sadiq Khan’s London is run by an anti-white prejudice, which could be called racism,” while Ben Habib a former MEP for the Brexit Party representing London, demanded that Khan resign for his comments.
“If anyone in office said ethnic minorities do not represent Londoners, they’d be out on their ear in five seconds flat,” Habib tweeted.
Speaking in 2016 while he was a candidate for the Mayor of London, Khan had argued that London’s transport authority was too dominated by white men, and that he would “reshape” the board to “better reflect London’s diversity in the interest of Londoners.”