Tower Hamlets mayor, Lutfur Rahman, has called out mainstream media for the treatment of Black/Asian politicians after an article he wrote was cancelled.
Mayor Rahman spent time drafting an article for The Independent after they agreed to run a piece, they also requested a profile picture ‘looking at the camera and down to his arms’.
The mayor was later told the story had been ‘spiked’ without explanation.
Spiking is the act of withholding a story from publication for editorial, commercial, or political reasons.
Despite finding the boroughs election newsworthy enough to run three full stories, The Independent withheld the story for unknown reasons.
In an extraordinary mayoral election, Rahman beat Labour incumbent John Biggs in the second round by 40,804 votes to 33,487.
The mayors party Aspire also won 24 of the 45 seats in Tower Hamlets council, while Labour took 19 seats despite having previously held 40. The result marked just the fourth time Labour has not held overall control of the borough since its creation in 1964.
Sunny Hundal, Deputy Editor at the opinion desk at The Independent stated that pulling the article was out of ‘his hands’, his decision was overruled by either the Editor or Editor in Chief of The Independent. But Hundal also said that it was nothing to do with race as he is ‘brown‘.
Some have commented that the way the mainstream media have treated Rahman, they weren’t surprised the article was pulled. They suspected if Rahman were a centre right politician he would have been treated very differently.