During last night’s BBC mayoral debate, Zac Goldsmith was asked whether he had run a racist campaign against Sadiq Khan — following negative press surrounding the Labour candidate’s links to extremists. After Khan found himself under fire for sharing platforms with characters like Suliman Gani, as well as for his work for Louis Farrakhan — the man who claimed Hitler was a ‘very great man’ — Labour’s Yvette Cooper complained that the Tories’ mayoral campaign amounts to racism:
‘It’s time to call it out for what it really is before it gets worse. What started as a subtle dog-whistle is becoming a full-blown racist scream.’
However, Cooper hasn’t always appeared to hold such strong views when it comes to taking a pop at politicians for their links to unsavoury characters. In fact during the Labour leadership election she seemed to have no issue when it came to raising doubts about some of the company Jeremy Corbyn keeps.
Cooper took the bold step of using an interview with the Telegraph to warn that Jeremy Corbyn must ‘do more’ to distance himself from hate preachers and extremists. The former shadow Home Secretary criticised Corbyn for his links to Raed Salah — who has accused Jews of using the blood of children to make bread — as well as specifically calling out Corbyn for sharing platforms with questionable figures:
‘I would hope he would do more to do so. I just disagree with Jeremy. I would not have taken those decisions to sit on platforms or meetings in that way. At a time when we have Isil, or other forms of extremists, who are recruiting or grooming, it’s really important to have a clear vision of how we stand up against extremism of all kinds.’
Surely Cooper’s campaign tactics couldn’t bear a resemblance to Zac’s?