No excuse for Daily Mail’s slur against foreign drivers | Letters

Letters: By highlighting the unlawful use of mobile phones by foreign truck drivers alone, the Daily Mail propagates the idea that foreign truckers are more likely to engage in this behaviour

We write with great concern following the Daily Mail’s front page of 2 November. Texting while driving has been one of the biggest causes of car-related deaths in the UK and it is important that in the case described in the Mail’s report, justice was served for the victims of this appalling tragedy caused by the dangerous driving of the driver.

Yet almost 100,000 people were caught by police last year for using a mobile phone behind the wheel, the vast majority of whom were almost certainly not foreign. By highlighting the unlawful use of mobile phones by foreign truck drivers alone, the Mail propagates the idea that foreign truckers are more likely to engage in this behaviour.

This is an unjustifiable slur with no evidence that incites hatred and ill-feeling towards the “other”, while doing little to advance the Mail’s goal of toughening law enforcement, or supporting the families of those killed in this incident. In a climate where hate crime against minority communities is on the rise, many have already publicly commented on how they believe such a front page article to be wholly irresponsible.

There is no doubt in our minds that reporting the news is a force for good, as it uncovers the truth and informs our society. We only hope that the Mail is able to reflect on whether its coverage of minority groups in our society does indeed uphold the highest professional standards of responsible journalism, or rather fuels divisions with real-life consequences.

Harun Khan Secretary general, Muslim Council of Britain
David Walker Bishop of Manchester, Church of England
Richard Baker Head of campaigns, Christian Aid
Rabbi Danny Rich Liberal Judaism
Rabbi Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi, Reform Judaism
Sir Peter Fahy Former chief constable, Greater Manchester Police
Ian Hopkins Chief constable, Greater Manchester Police
Kevin Courtney General secretary, National Union of Teachers
Malia Bouattia President, National Union of Students
Don Flynn Director, Migrant Rights’ Network
Stephen Hale Chief executive, Refugee Action
Sarah Crowther Director, Refugees in Effective & Active Partnership
Josie O’Driscoll Chair, Gypsy & Traveller Empowerment
Sherrie Smith Project co-ordinator, Report Racism Gypsy Roma Traveller
Joanna Mludzinska Chair, Polish Social and Cultural Association
Linda Burnip Disabled People Against Cuts
Tracey Lazard Chief executive officer, Inclusion London
Chris Whitwell Director, Friends, Families and Travellers
Jennie Kermode Chair, Trans Media Watch
Ragih Muflihi Chief executive officer, Yemeni Communities Coordinating Committee
Mostafa Rajaai International Students Officer, National Union of Students
Diana Holland Assistant general secretary, Unite
Robert Monks General secretary, United Road Transport Union
Samayya Afzal Students not Suspects
Simon Woolley Director, Operation Black Vote
Alicja Kaczmarek Director, Polish Expats Association
Neil Jameson Executive director, Citizens UK
Nick Lowles Chief executive, Hope Not Hate
Yasmin Qureshi MP Labour
Brian Paddick Liberal Democrat, House of Lords
Joanna Cherry MP Scottish National Party
Baroness Hussein-Ece
Laurence Hillel Co-director, London Interfaith Network
Mia Hasenson-Gross Director, René Cassin
Dr Edie Friedman Executive director, Jewish Council for Racial Equality
Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra Office of British Imams and Scholars
Shaykh Arif Abdul Hussain Al-Mahdi Institute
Iain Stewart General secretary, Edinburgh Interfaith Association
Richard Wilson Stop Funding Hate
Nik Noone Chief executive, Galop
Robert Behrens Visiting Professor, UCL Institute of Education
Paul Bowen QC Brick Court Chambers
Hugh Tomlinson QC Matrix Law Chambers
Dr Omar Khan Director, Runnymede Trust
Dr Salman al-Azami Liverpool Hope University
Dr Judith Townend University of Sussex
Dr Kasia Narkowicz University of York
Professor Francis Davis University of Birmingham
Saleem Kidwai Muslim Council of Wales
Dr Javed Gill Convenor, Muslim Council of Scotland
Hayyan Bhabha Secretary, APPG on Islamophobia
Weyman Bennett & Sabby Dhalu Co-convenors, Stand up to Racism
Robin Richardson Insted Consultancy

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