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HomeUKLee Anderson reacts to suspension for 'Islamophobic' remarks

Lee Anderson reacts to suspension for ‘Islamophobic’ remarks

  • Anderson suspended for Islamophobic remarks
  • Criticism from Khan, Tories
  • Sunak pressured, response awaited

Labour and some Tories criticised the former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party’s assertion that “Islamists” had “seized control” of the Mayor of London; Sadiq Khan himself stated that it “fed the fire of anti-Muslim hatred.”

Lee Anderson has acknowledged that the Conservative Party “had no choice” but to suspend him in light of his “Islamophobic” remarks regarding the Mayor of London.

The former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party stated in an X post following his suspension on Saturday afternoon, “After speaking with the chief whip, I am aware of the difficult position I have placed the Prime Minister and him in with regard to my remarks.”

It is without a doubt that they were compelled to suspend the whip under these conditions.

Nevertheless, I shall persist in endorsing the government’s endeavours to denounce all manifestations of extremism, including Islamophobia and antisemitism.

Rishi Sunak was under increasing pressure to take action after the Member of Parliament for Ashfield stated that he believed “Islamists” had “seized control” of London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

A spokesperson for the chief whip, Simon Hart, issued the following statement regarding Lee Anderson MP’s suspension: “The chief whip has suspended the Conservative whip from Lee Anderson MP due to his refusal to apologise for remarks made yesterday.”

Mr. Anderson’s statement on GB News earlier this week incited widespread disapproval: “While I do not personally hold the belief that Islamists have taken control of our nation, I do hold the belief that they do have control over Khan and London… In fact, he has leased our nation’s capital to his companions.”

Mr. Khan responded on Saturday by alleging that the Prime Minister was “complicit” in bigotry due to his failure to denounce Mr. Anderson’s remarks, which “fuel anti-Muslim hatred.”

The claim, in his opinion, was Islamophobic and implied that Muslims were “fair game” in terms of bigotry.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer stated that Mr. Anderson’s suspension was “proper” in light of his “horrendous racist and Islamophobic outburst against Sadiq Khan.”

“Tory MPs act with impunity due to Rishi Sunak’s weakness,” he added in a statement on X. “As the election approaches, the Tories may become increasingly desperate, but Rishi Sunak is obligated to halt this descent into ever-more-destructive rhetoric.”

“Poor and hazardous”

Mr. Anderson was advised by Nigel Farage, of which he is honorary president, to “join Reform UK” subsequent to his suspension.

But in response to the same query, Reform UK leader Richard Tice stated, “Neither have I nor Lee communicated with one another.”

As the Israel-Hamas conflict rages in Gaza, community tensions are at an all-time high, with fears of violence against Members of Parliament and concerns over the behaviour of pro-Palestinian demonstrators. Mr. Anderson’s remarks coincide with this turmoil.

A number of Conservatives, including former cabinet minister Sir Sajid Javid, have also condemned Mr. Anderson’s remarks, calling them “ridiculous.”

Cabinet minister Grant Shapps appeared to defend Mr. Anderson’s freedom to “speak his mind” while distancing himself from his remarks.

In contrast, business minister Nus Ghani deemed her Tory colleague’s remarks “foolish and dangerous.”

“Unlock your financial potential with free Webull shares in the UK.”

Mr. Anderson resigned from his position as deputy chair of the Conservative Party in order to cast a vote against the Rwanda measure proposed by Mr. Sunak.

He later expressed his desire to regain his former position.

Mr. Anderson has encountered controversy on preceding occasions.

His previous assertion that an individual could prepare meals for themselves using only “about 30 pence per day” has earned him the moniker “30p Lee” from certain critics.

Mr. Anderson receives an additional £100,000 annually for his GB News programme, in addition to his MP salary of £86,584.

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