A controversial US conservative website has falsely accused Sadiq Khan's wife of wearing a hijab only after the Labour MP won the London Mayoral election. The Gateway Pundit, a right wing website that describes itself as "consistently ranked" among political blogs in the US, warned its readers that "Londoners may not have known what they got into" in a post featuring photos of Khan with his wife Saadiya Ahmed.
The blog, ran by Jim Hoft, claims that Ahmed started wearing the traditional Muslim headscarf shortly after Khan was elected the Mayor of London, becoming the first Muslim mayor of any capital city in the EU in the process.
However, Gateway Pundit instead posted images of Sarah Joseph, a Muslim woman who was also present at the signing-in of Khan as Mayor of London at a ceremony at Southwark Cathedral on 7 May 2016. The post has since been removed.
Joseph, who spotted the mistake on Gateway Pundit and fellow right wing blog Young Conservatives, explained that while "Saadiya is lovely, and good, and happy, [she] has not been forced into a hijab", and while her actual husband is "Asian and also a human-rights lawyer" he is not the Mayor of London.
The false 'before and after' photo was also posted in a since-deleted tweet by former head of the English Defence League (EL) Tommy Robinson. Joseph accused Robinson of being unable to tell her and Ahmed apart because of "blind hatred".
Hoft has frequently been accused of posting false information and conspiracy theories on his blog, which attracts millions of viewers, including fabrications such as Barack Obama wanting to ban sports fishing or that the US was planning to "giving land back to Mexico".
In a post on Media Matters entitled 'Jim Hoft: Dumbest Man on the Internet?', author Ben Dimiro wrote: "In spite of the fact that Hoft embarrasses himself on a near-daily basis and has shown time and again that he is either wilfully dishonest or staggeringly inept, he has managed to carve out a role as one of the most-read, most respected writers in the conservative blogosphere. And his influence extends beyond the blogs. Hoft's stories are regularly featured on Fox News' Fox Nation website, and he has been cited as a source on-air by Fox News on multiple occasions."