The Evening Standard have removed a controversial poll from their ThisisLondon website after London Mayor Ken Livingstone highlighted an email an campaign to influence the outcome.
The poll asked readers to vote whether or not they were in favour of the Mayor spending £100 million of public money on a new Mosque in East London however Mr Livingstone has repeatedly denied any public funds would be spent on the project.
Yesterday Mr Livingstone said his office has been alerted to a series of emails being sent which make what he calls “a series of false claims about the mosque proposals in such a way as to stir up communal hatred” leading him to write to Veronica Wadley, Editor of the Evening Standard.
In his letter the Mayor asked Ms Wadley to “clarify to readers and visitors to the website that the poll will be disregarded as totally unrepresentative due to the attempt to influence its outcome through untrue mass emails likely to damage community relations in London.”
In response the Standard’s Managing Editor, Doug Willis, told Mr Livingstone the poll had been “published…last September. As is normal with daily polls, it remains on the website. We have today added a sentence to the website saying that since publication of the original poll and article, proposals for this mosque have been revised.”
However in response to a second letter from Mr Livingstone highlighting the fact that the BNP website was urging people to vote in the poll Mr Willis advised the Mayor that “In view of the developments we have removed the poll”.