Calls for John Lewis to ‘stop funding hate’

International consumer group Sum Of Us has revealed that John Lewis customers who signed one of its petitions have called on the retailer to remove its advertising from the Daily Mail.

The petition received more than 50,000 signatures, of which 21,095 were John Lewis Partnership customers, the consumer group has claimed.

According to Sum Of Us, those John Lewis customers have asked the retailer to withdraw its advertising in the light of what the consumer group has alleged to be “decades of xenophobic and racist content” in both the Daily Mail and Mail Online.

“People in Britain today are living in fear of being attacked solely from the colour of their skin or where they were born, and that fear is justified,” said Sondhya Gupta, senior campaigner at Sum Of Us. “The media has played a huge part in antagonising the hatred and division we are seeing on a daily basis. If we want to combat this terrifying increase in prejudice and bigotry, we must hold the media to account. We can do that by telling companies who share our values to stop advertising in papers that print this hateful rhetoric.

“As we gear up for another year of holiday shopping, it’s up to us, the general public, to keep pressuring companies like John Lewis to stop funding hate.”

Speaking to ERT, a John Lewis spokesman said: “We fully appreciate the strength of feeling on this issue, but withdrawing advertising on the basis of editorial coverage would be inconsistent with our democratic principles, which include freedom of speech and remaining apolitical.”