Tories delete Sadiq Khan attack ad showing New York instead of London | 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such as the political journalist Paul Waugh spotted that the video about London showed scenes from New York, it was withdrawn and replaced with a video where the Penn station clips had been cut.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.

Graphic showing anti social behaviour rates in England and Wales

Further analysis found London has one of the lowest rates of antisocial behaviour, the murder rate in the capital has dropped under the last three mayors, hospital admissions for firearm assaults fell last year and the capital has fewer incidents of gun crime and fewer stabbings than other parts of England.

The video also warned of “squads of Ulez enforcers dressed in black, faces covered with masks, terrorising communities at the beck and call of their Labour mayor master, who has implemented a tax on driving, forcing people to stay inside or go underground.

“Gripped by the tendrils of rising crime, London citizens stay inside. The streets are quiet.”

Graphic showing London murder rates since 2003

A source close to Khan told PA Media: “It’s true to form for the Tory campaign. It’s a deeply misleading attack intentionally talking down London, from a candidate who appears to have no love for the city she aspires to lead.”

Hall is running against Khan in the London mayoral election on 2 May. Khan took office in 2016 and is seeking a third term in office.

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