‘Not Dawn Butler either’: Stormzy weighs in on photo mix up of black south west London MPs

By Danielle Manning
February 5 2020, 17.45

Croydon rapper Stormzy appeared in a selfie tweeted by former Guardian columnist Gary Younge today declaring that neither of them is Dawn Butler MP.

The post, which also said the two should not be mistaken for ‘12 Years a Slave’ director Steve McQueen or indeed Tottenham MP David Lammy, came as a response to mislabelled images of black female MPs.

On Monday a BBC Parliament caption of a commons debate referred to Battersea MP Marsha de Cordova as Dawn Butler, another black Labour MP.

Taking to Twitter, the newly-elected backbencher said: “This is what happens when the media does not represent the society it reports on. Representation matters. Diversity matters. This cannot continue.”

MP for Brent Ms Butler told her 83,000 followers that she loves ‘her sister’ but that they are ’two different people’.

She said: “Marsha is amazing and deserves to be called by her own name. Diversity in the workplace matters it also helps to avoid making simple mistakes like this.”

The Evening Standard was then brought into the fray when it released an article covering the blunder, but included a picture of Streatham MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy, also a black woman, in place of Ms de Cordova.

The paper later apologised ‘unreservedly’ explaining that its picture suppliers, Getty Images, had incorrectly captioned the photo.

BuzzFeed News reported that Ms Ribeiro-Addy had been called by an editor to apologise.

She told the website: “This ultimately signals that we are not worthy of the same distinction and respect as our white counterparts.

“I fully understand that mistakes happen, but this is not a unique experience, it has been happening to BAME women MPs for some time.

“There are vastly more white male MPs, statistically speaking they should be more frequently confused.

“Despite the embarrassment it clearly causes outlets they don’t seem to have taken steps to correct it.”

The article has since been updated with the correct image and caption.

Getty Images has apologised for the mistake and said it is ‘reviewing internal processes to ensure this does not happen again’.

Writing for the Metro yesterday, Ms Butler said: “When so many people on so many different levels of an institution keep making the same mistake it’s no longer plausible to treat each one as an isolated incident.”

She added: “It’s about making an effort to recognise people for who they are and the qualities they bring to the table.”

Stormzy, this month’s GQ magazine cover star, spoke out against the Irish Herald in 2017 when they ran his picture instead of footballer Romelu Lukaku.

The ‘Do Better’ rapper paid tribute to his Croydon roots in the GQ interview with Gary Younge.

He said: “There are so many things about me that are so South London, which I wouldn’t have learnt anywhere else. I wouldn’t have had the heart or the character or my strength and my wits.”

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