Steerpike Steerpike

Evening Standard’s change of heart about Sadiq Khan

During the London mayoral campaign, the Evening Standard was accused of showing ‘overwhelming bias’ towards the Tory candidate Zac Goldsmith. The Media Reform Coalition claimed the paper had become the ‘mouthpiece of the Conservative party’ after it ran twice as many positive headlines about Goldsmith than his Labour rival Sadiq Khan. Khan was also the subject of twice as many negative headlines — which included: ‘Exposed: Sadiq Khan’s family links to extremist organisation’ and ‘Minister: Khan is unfit to be mayor’.

However, despite the paper’s best efforts — and eventual endorsement of Goldsmith — it wasn’t enough to sway voters, and Khan was elected mayor with 57 per cent of the vote. So, Mr S couldn’t help but notice what a difference four months can make.

Last night, Khan was crowned ‘most influential Londoner’ by the paper in a glitzy ceremony. Happily, Khan doesn’t appear to hold a grudge — accepting the award with a gushing press statement:

‘It is a huge honour and a privilege to be named the Evening Standard’s Londoner of the year. I’m so proud to be the Mayor of London and to be able to work hard every day to make life better for all Londoners.

There are so many inspiring, dedicated and heroic people on the Progress 1000 list. From giants of industry and successful entrepreneurs, to sporting heroes and Olympic medalists.’

Meanwhile the paper’s one-time golden boy Goldsmith failed to even make it onto the list of influential politicians. Well, they do say politics is a fickle game.

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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