Our response to shocking Sunday Times column

We were shocked and disappointed to read the remarks by Rod Liddle in The Sunday Times yesterday. In response, Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs has issued a statement.

Mayor John Biggs said:

"This is an utterly appalling column from Rod Liddle. Anjem Choudary’s incitement of hatred has no place in our society and neither does such a divisive and insensitive article.

To allow a Sunday Times columnist to advocate that people should blow themselves up ‘somewhere a decent distance from where the rest of us live. Tower Hamlets, for example’ is outrageous.

It is deeply insulting to Londoners and particularly those who lost loved ones in the Canary Wharf bombing in 1996, or have been affected by other violent acts.

The kind of politics being peddled here is polarising and extremely dangerous. The ‘us and them’ language is unacceptable and not befitting of mainstream media in 2018, or at any time.

And what ‘us and them’ is he talking about? Tower Hamlets is proud to have residents from more than 200 different countries. We are a place where the majority of our residents get on well with one another, and a borough that is the third largest contributor to the UK economy with some of the nation’s biggest economic centres, historic landmarks and visitor destinations.

On behalf of my residents I will be asking the Sunday Times for a full apology and to consider whether someone with these views should be writing for them at all."

Background information

Tower Hamlets - the most dynamic place in the country

Tower Hamlets is one of the most popular and successful places in the UK, and one the nation depends on.

More and more people want to come here, whether it is to live, to work or to have fun. As a result, Tower Hamlets has the fastest growing population in the UK and more homes are built here than anywhere else.

Tower Hamlets is home to:

  • Over 304,000 residents. Our 2018 Resident Survey found that 86% of people said people from different backgrounds get on well together. 79% residents are very or fairly satisfied with Tower Hamlets.
  • International business districts such as Canary Wharf and parts of City Fringe and Tech City. The borough is the third largest contributor to the UK economy, responsible for as much as £12billion in tax revenue each year.
  • Visitor destinations including Tower of London, Ragged School Museum, Whitechapel Gallery, Brick Lane and the Museum of Childhood.
  • Award winning parks including Victoria Park and part of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
  • Major institutions for learning including Barts NHS Trust Hospital which trains more than 4,000 people at any one time for medical careers and is working with Queen Mary University to create a Life Science Centre in Whitechapel.
  • One of the most diverse populations in the country and is steeped in history whether it is the docks, the suffragette movement or the fight against fascism in the battle of Cable Street.
Posted on Monday 22nd October 2018