Senior Tory responds after suspension over ‘Islamists’ comments

UK

Lee Anderson has been suspended from the Conservative party after “Islamophobic” comments.

A spokesperson for 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 this week, Mr Anderson, MP for Ashfield, 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.”

Earlier today Sadiq Khan accused the prime minister of being “complicit” in racism for failing to condemn Mr Anderson‘s comments that “pour fuel on the fire of anti-Muslim hatred”.

Mr Khan said the claim by the former deputy chairman of the Tory party were Islamophobic and sent the message that Muslims were “fair game” when it came to racism.

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Khan: ‘The deafening silence from Rishi Sunak’

“These comments from a senior Conservative are Islamophobic, are anti-Muslim and are racist,” he said on Saturday.

Highlighting the spike in hate crimes, he said: “These comments pour fuel on the fire of anti-Muslim hatred.

More on Lee Anderson

“I am afraid the deafening silence form Rishi Sunak and from the cabinet is them condoning this racism.

“I am afraid it confirms to many people across the country that there’s a hierarchy when it comes to racism.”

Mr Anderson’s remarks prompted criticism from Labour and some Tories, including former cabinet minister Sajid Javid who branded them “ridiculous”.

Cabinet minister Grant Shapps distanced himself from Mr Anderson’s comments but appeared to defend his right to “speak [his] mind”.

The comments come amid heightened community tensions in response to the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza, with concerns over the conduct of pro-Palestinian protests and fears of violence against MPs.

Business minister Nus Ghani described her Tory colleague’s comments as “foolish and dangerous”.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, the Wealden MP said: “I have spoken to Lee Anderson. I’ve called out Islamic extremism (& been attacked by hard left, far right & Islamists).

“I don’t for one moment believe that Sadiq Khan is controlled by Islamists. To say so, is both foolish and dangerous. Frankly this is all so tiring…”

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