Labour MP accuses Boris Johnson of 'racism' following New Zealand attack

Will Metcalfe
Contributor
Boris Johnson was accused of racism following the New Zealand terror attack. (PA)

Boris Johnson has been accused of racism by a Labour MP following the New Zealand terrorist attack.

Mr Johnson was criticised for his jibe last year about Muslim women in burkas by Labour MP Wes Streeting (Ilford North), who linked the comments to the massacre of nearly 50 Muslims in Christchurch.

Mr Streeting demanded to know when the Tories would “tackle the racists in their ranks”, including “in this House”, during an urgent question in the Commons on far right violence and online extremism.

“The kind of prejudice that slaughtered innocent people in Christchurch doesn’t begin with a gunman mowing down people in their place of worship,” he said.

Labour Wes Streeting MP accused the prominent Brexiteer of racism

“It begins with unchecked prejudice, in our workplaces, in our schools, in our communities, that’s amplified by the pages of national mainstream media outlets that should know better.

“I’m afraid it’s also legitimised by people, who purport to be mainstream politicians who aspire to the highest office, who describe Muslim women as ‘bank robbers’ and ‘pillar boxes’ without any reaction.”

Security Minister Ben Wallace agreed it was important to eradicate racists from both the Tories and Labour, including “my friends” and “my colleagues”.

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He said: “I totally agree with everything he has said, that we have to caution what we say and what we inspire in the privileged places that we live as political leaders in this society, and that goes for my friends, my colleagues and my opponents on the opposition benches.”

Mr Wallace also attacked Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for “supporting Irish nationalism that had a violent streak”.

Mr Streeting had earlier shouted “Boris Johnson” across the Chamber when his Labour colleague Stella Creasy (Walthamstow) called for zero tolerance for those “dripping the poison of racism” into public discourse.

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