A weekly newspaper has committed what its editor termed an “embarrassing cock-up” after mistaking one of its newly re-elected MPs for a former leader of Sierra Leone.
The Haringey Independent published a photo on its website which purported to be Tottenham MP David Lammy – but was actually Julius Maada Bio, a former head of state of the African country.
Its online story has since been updated to say that the Labour MP has now ruled himself out of the race, although he hopes to be the party’s candidate for London Mayor, and the correct photo has been added.
Mr Lammy, pictured below, tweeted a photo of the newspaper’s story yesterday, saying: “If anyone knows who this guy is please let him know he’s now the MP for Tottenham…”
The Haringey Independent is now edited by Tim Jones, following a restructure last month which saw him take responsibility for 18 titles as group editor of Newsquest’s North London, West Essex and South Bucks operations.
He told HTFP: “This was an embarrassing cock up for which there is little explanation beyond a reporter being too trusting of a photographer’s caption. Lesson learned, I hope.
“Happily David Lammy has a good sense of humour. He is to be congratulated on his re-election as MP for Tottenham.”
Julius Maada Bio was the military head of state of Sierra Leone from January to March 1996 after leading a military coup.
He is an active member of the Sierra Leone People’s Party and was its presidential candidate for the elections in 2012.