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Lee Anderson suspended from Conservative Party over Sadiq Khan 'Islamist' comments

Lee Anderson has had the Tory whip suspended  (PA Wire)
Lee Anderson has had the Tory whip suspended (PA Wire)

Lee Anderson has been suspended from the Conservative Party after claiming that Sadiq Khan is controlled by “Islamists”.

The party said it made the decision after the former Tory deputy chairman refused to apologise for making the controversial remarks.

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.”

It comes after Mr Khan accused Mr Anderson of "pouring fuel on the fire of anti-Muslim hatred" after he said Islamists had "got control" of him.

The London Mayor said the comments by Lee Anderson were Islamophobic and sends the message that Muslims are "fair game" when it comes to racism.

He also criticised Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for failing to condemn the remarks.

On GB News, Anderson said of Mr Khan, the first Muslim mayor of London: "He's given our capital city away to his mates. 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."

In a response issued on Saturday, Mr Khan said: "These comments from a senior Conservative are Islamophobic, are anti-Muslim and are racist.

"These comments pour fuel on the fire of anti-Muslim hatred.

"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."

He added: "I am unclear why Rishi Sunak, why members of his cabinet aren't calling this out and aren't condemning this.

"It's like they are complicit in this sort of racism.

"The message it sends is Muslims are fair game when it comes to racism and anti-Muslim hatred.

"It's not good enough in 2024 in the United Kingdom."

Labour called for Anderson to lose the Tory whip. Anneliese Dodds, the party chair, said: "Lee Anderson's comments are unambiguously racist and Islamophobic. Rishi Sunak needs to immediately remove the whip."