Khan Rejects Claims of Misinformation in London Mayoral Campaign

As London’s mayoral race heats up, incumbent Sadiq Khan confronts allegations of misinformation from the Tory camp, prompting a closer examination of crime statistics that reveal a nuanced perspective on the city’s safety under his leadership. Here’s the full story.

Election Fever

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The election fever in the United Kingdom is starting to heat up. Local and mayoral elections are due on May 2nd, and the as-yet-unannounced general election is expected to follow in the autumn. 


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However, tensions have started to appear as the election race heats up. London’s mayoral race is consumed with accusations of misinformation, as incumbent Mayor Sadiq Khan has denounced the Conservative Party’s campaign tactics as “lies.”

Susan Hall

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The controversy began when the Conservatives posted a video on X, formerly Twitter, supporting their preferred candidate, Susan Hall.

Panicked Crowds

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The video, which has since been deleted, attempted to condemn Khan’s record on violent crime in the nation’s capital by showing scenes of panicked crowds running from a train station in response to a violent incident. 

“Crime Capital of the World”

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The ad also featured a caption claiming London had become “a crime capital of the world” under the Labour mayor and showed a red rose, the Labour Party’s official symbol, wilting and dying.

“The Brink of Chaos”

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The disturbing black and white footage of people fleeing the station was narrated by a distinctly American, rather than London, accented voice which claimed, “A 54% increase in knife crime since the Labour mayor seized power has the metropolis teetering on the brink of chaos.

“A Desperate Reprieve”

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The disembodied voice continued, “And in the chaos, people seek a desperate reprieve.”

Where’s Wally?

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However, it was later revealed that the footage was not of a station in London or even in the United Kingdom. 

Where’s Waldo?

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The footage was, appropriately considering the accent of the narrator, taken from New York’s Penn Station after an incident in 2017 where false reports of gunfire caused a mass panic. 

“Slagging off the Capital”

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Khan was quick to condemn his opponents’ seemingly underhand tactics, stating, “It is quite staggering we have a Conservative candidate aspiring to be mayor of our great city just doing our city down. I think it is unpatriotic always just s******* off the capital.”

“My Fear Materialising”

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He continued, “But I’m afraid it’s another example of my fear materialising, which is this election from the Conservative party will be one where there is misinformation, where there are lies and in this case clearly where this is a video that is not of our city. It is New York.”

Glaring Mistake

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Eagle-eyed X users spotted the glaring mistake, leading to an immediate backlash on and offline. 

Find and Replace

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Following the outcry, the Conservatives deleted the video from the social media site before quickly replacing it with an edited version that excluded the disturbing scenes from Penn Station. 

Lack of Integrity

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However, the damage had been done, and the initial video’s misleading portrayal of London raised serious questions about the integrity and trustworthiness of the Conservative Party’s campaign strategies.

Violent Wasteland

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There was more bad news for the Conservative party’s claims of London being a violent wasteland after an analysis by the Guardian showed the picture to be slightly less black and white.

Better Than Average

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According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, London’s crime rates are better than the national average. 

Lower Likelihood

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Contrary to the Conservative claims, the data suggests that the likelihood of being a victim of crime in London is lower compared to the rest of the country.

Crime Report

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In London, 14.9% of individuals reported experiencing a crime either personally or within their households during the year ending September 2023, as opposed to the national average of 15.7%.

Antisocial Behaviour

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London also fared better when it comes to non-violent crime, such as antisocial behaviour. 26.4% of people in the capital claimed they had either witnessed or experienced antisocial behaviour, compared to 15.7% nationally. 

Harsh Truths

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As the mayoral race continues to heat up, rhetoric, spin and party positions will come up against the harsh truths of statistical reality and the unforgiving gaze of the real world. 

Political Point Scoring

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Despite politicians’ deep desires for electoral victory, factual accuracy mustn’t suffer to score political points. 

Poor Editing

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Though the Conservative’s video may seem like a deeply misguided attempt to sway voters, the underlying message – aimed at spreading fear – was only undone by poor editing instead of facts and figures. 

Political Bubbles

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As people find themselves increasingly in political bubbles of their own devising, countering these types of misinformation, whether intended or accidental, will become considerably more difficult. The effect this will have on the nation’s democracy remains to be seen.

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The post Khan Rejects Claims of Misinformation in London Mayoral Campaign first appeared on Edge Media.

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Grant Gallacher is a seasoned writer with expertise in politics and impactful daily news. His work, deeply rooted in addressing issues that resonate with a wide audience, showcases an unwavering commitment to bringing forth the stories that matter. He is also known for satirical writing and stand up comedy.

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