An apology from Julie Tait, Director and The Lakes International Comic Art Festival

We would like to extend a full and unreserved apology to Zainab Akhtar. Firstly we would like to apologise for the way in which Zainab was disparaged for making valid criticisms in relation to the festival. We acknowledge that she has no ulterior agenda in expressing these criticisms and would like to apologise for making an unwarranted personal response when we should have behaved professionally, working constructively to start an honest and open dialogue.

We accept that our response and communications were inappropriate, and that they have caused stress and heartache to Zainab and others, and we would like to further extend our apology to all affected.

We are committed to working towards a more diverse and inclusive festival for everyone to enjoy and we accept that there is more we can do, and must do, to help to make our festival a more wonderful and vibrant place. We will be taking meaningful and positive actions to ensure our festival is more diverse and representative of the full diversity of the comic world, and a place that is equally welcoming to all people.

On behalf of the festival team I would like to re-iterate our deep regret and unreserved apology to Zainab.

Kind regards

Julie Tait, Festival Director 
Tuesday 10th October 2017

• Supporting Diversity in Comics: A Statement from the Lakes International Comic Att Festival