Anderson suspended from Tory party over ‘Islamists’ comments

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…reports Asian Lite News

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, Khan described the remarks as “pouring fuel on the fire of anti-Muslim hatred”. Anderson said his comments had put the chief whip and PM in a “difficult position”.

Losing the Conservative whip essentially expels Anderson from his party in Parliament. Just over an hour after 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 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 Khan criticised a “deafening silence” from the prime minister and his Cabinet. Until January 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.

Posting his reaction to losing the whip on social media Anderson said: “Following a call with the chief whip, I understand the difficult position that I have put both he and the prime minister in with regard to my comments. “I fully accept that they had no option but to suspend the whip in these circumstances. However, I will continue to support the government’s efforts to call out extremism in all its forms – be that anti-Semitism or Islamophobia.”

Earlier on Saturday afternoon, Khan responded to the comments Anderson first made on GB News which he described as “Islamophobic, anti-Muslim and racist”. “These comments pour fuel on the fire of anti-Muslim hatred,” 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. Anderson’s initial remarks have prompted criticism from some Tories, including former chancellor Sir Sajid Javid who said the remarks were “ridiculous”.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said it welcomed 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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