Tories suspend MP over ‘Islamists’ commentson February 24, 2024 at 4:46 pm

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The party suspends Lee Anderson over claims “Islamists” had “got control” of London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

MP for Ashfield, Lee AndersonImage source, Getty Images

Former Tory deputy chairman Lee Anderson has been suspended from the party after “refusing to apologise” for comments aimed at Sadiq Khan.

The Conservative Ashfield MP told GB News on Friday “Islamists” had “got control” of the mayor of London.

Responding on Saturday, Mr Khan described the remarks as “pouring fuel on the fire of anti-Muslim hatred”.

Losing the Conservative whip essentially expels Mr Anderson from his party in Parliament.

Just over an hour after Mr Khan’s criticism, a spokesperson for the Tory party’s chief whip Simon Hart said: “Following his refusal to apologise for comments made yesterday, the chief whip has suspended the Conservative whip from Lee Anderson MP.”

Speaking on GB News Mr Anderson said: “I don’t actually believe that the Islamists have got control of our country, but what I do believe is they’ve got control of Khan and they’ve got control of London… He’s actually given our capital city away to his mates.”

Pressure then mounted on Rishi Sunak to take action over the comments from the Ashfield MP after Mr Khan criticised a “deafening silence” from the prime minister and his Cabinet.

Until January Mr Anderson served as one of the deputy chairmen of the Conservative Party, but he resigned so he could rebel against the government over the Rwanda vote.

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On Saturday afternoon, Mr Khan responded to Mr Anderson’s comments which he described as “Islamophobic, anti-Muslim and racist”.

“These comments pour fuel on the fire of anti-Muslim hatred,” Mr Khan said.

The London mayor added he was “unclear why Rishi Sunak and members of his Cabinet” were not calling out the remarks or condemning the comments.

Mr Anderson’s remarks prompted criticism from some Tories – including former chancellor Sir Sajid Javid who reposted the video of Mr Anderson making the comments and wrote “a ridiculous thing to say”.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said it welcomed Mr Anderson’s suspension but claimed it has “only taken place after widespread disgust”.

A MCB spokesman said: “The Conservative Party has an Islamophobia problem. They need to own up to it.”

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