Video of Sadiq Khan being heckled with ‘despicable abuse’ sparks outrage The group that hounded London mayor Sadiq Khan called him a “hypocrite” and “the destroyer of London” amid shouts of “black cab lives matter”.(Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
Eastern Eye Staff
A VIRAL footage of Sadiq Khan being heckled with “mindless Neanderthal abuse” has sparked widespread outrage across the UK.
The video was shot as the mayor of London faced an aggressive mob while heading to City Hall amid a protest by black-cab drivers last week.
Reports said a crowd gathered near Khan’s office after a protest march across the London Bridge against the mayor’s “green plans” to make swathes of London no-car zones.
“Khan you have blood on your hands,” read a banner held by demonstrators who chanted “Khan out”.
The group that hounded the mayor on Thursday (10) called him a “hypocrite” and “the destroyer of London” amid shouts of “black cab lives matter”.
“You just want to bring this f**king city down, don’t ya?” prodded a protester, even as Khan walked away phlegmatically.
Shadow justice secretary David Lammy condemned the video – watched by over a million people – saying “no one in public or private life deserves this despicable abuse”.
Veteran TV journalist Piers Morgan termed the video was “absolutely repellent”.
“Whether you like him or not (I do), Sadiq Khan does not deserve this kind of mindless Neanderthal abuse. Just vile,” he added.
Redbridge councillor Khayer Chowdhury alleged that the harassment was “motivated by racism”, and the mayor could have been “attacked” if protection officers had not been present.
“When I see what he has to put up with it makes me feel awful and can understand why it would put anyone off going into public service,” he added.
“Being an Asian politician, we face problems on several scales anyway but then to be hounded as you are just walking into work is completely unacceptable.”
After reporting the video to the police, Chowdhury said “abusing and harassing anybody on the street like this is a crime”.
The councillor demanded police action, adding that Khan had suffered “more abuse than any other politician in the country”.
Notably, last year, the police had to give Khan round-the-clock protection following death threats. City Hall, a Guardian report said, referred “17 cases to the police in a three-month period with a further 237 separate threats made to Khan via social media”.
Khan said at that time that “name-calling, trolling and threats to terrorism” had increased after the 2016 European Union referendum.
“It can’t be right that one of the consequences of me being the mayor of London and a Muslim in public life is that I have police protection,” he told Time magazine.
“The referendum campaign allowed things to come to the surface and normalised things that should not be normalised.”
Responding to calls for action against the aggressive protesters, the Met Police said: “We are aware of a video circulating on social media, which appears to show the mayor of London being verbally abused on Thursday 10 September outside City Hall.
“We have received an allegation of crime, which is being investigated, and inquiries to assess the circumstances of the incident are ongoing.”