Tories delete Sadiq Khan attack ad showing New York instead of London


The Conservatives have deleted an online video that used scenes of a panicked crowd at a New York subway station to criticise Sadiq Khan’s record on crime in London.

The attack ad, posted on X in support of Susan Hall – Khan’s rival for the London mayoralty, showed people panicking and rushing through New York’s Penn station after false reports of gunfire in 2017.

The caption on the video claimed “London under Labour has become a crime capital of the world”, and showed an emoji of a red rose – the symbol of the Labour party – wilting and shedding its petals.

After commentators such as the political journalist Paul Waugh spotted that the video about London showed scenes from New York, it was withdrawn and replaced with a video where the Penn station clips had been cut.

Originally, the scenes from Penn station had been shown in black and white, and overlaid with an ominous US-accented narrator saying: “A 54% increase in knife crime since the Labour mayor seized power has the metropolis teetering on the brink of chaos.

“And in the chaos, people seek a desperate reprieve.”

As the Guardian reported last month, according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, people are less likely to be victims of crime in London than across the country as a whole. In the capital, 14.9% of people experienced a crime either to their person or their household in the year ending September 2023, compared with 15.7% nationally.