Lee Anderson Accused Of 'Islamophobia' Over Attack On Sadiq Khan

He said the London mayor had "given our capital city away to his mates".
Lee Anderson speaks at the launch of the 'Popular Conservatism' movement in London earlier this month.
Lee Anderson speaks at the launch of the 'Popular Conservatism' movement in London earlier this month.
SOPA Images via Getty Images

Lee Anderson is at the centre of a racism row after he claimed Islamists have “got control of” Sadiq Khan.

The former Tory Party chairman provoked a furious backlash by saying the London mayor, who is Muslim, had “given our capital city away to his mates”.

His comments, on GB News, were apparently a reference to the pro-Palestine marches which have taken place in London since the outbreak of the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

They came after former home secretary Suella Braverman claimed that “Islamists” are now running the country.

Anderson said: “I don’t actually believe that these 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 added: “This stems with Khan. He’s actually given our capital city away to his mates ... beware, because if you let Labour in through the back door, expect more of this and expect our cities to be taken over by these lunatics.”

Labour chairwoman Anneliese Dodds said: “Lee Anderson’s comments are unambiguously racist and Islamophobic. Rishi Sunak needs to immediately remove the whip. If he is too weak, then people will take their own view of the modern Conservative Party.”

A London Labour source: “This sort of vile Islamophobia is exactly how the Tories campaigned against Sadiq Khan in 2016. Surely they will not tolerate it this time round?”

Lib Dem deputy leader Daisy Cooper said: These comments from a Conservative MP are despicable. Rishi Sunak should remove the Conservative whip. There should be no space for this in our country, let alone in parliament.”

Former Tory MP Gavin Barwell, who was also Theresa May’s chief of staff when she was prime minister, said Anderson’s comments were “a despicable slur”.

But a Conservative Party source defended Anderson’s comments.

He told HuffPost UK: “Lee was simply making the point that the mayor, in his capacity as police and crime commissioner for London, has abjectly failed to get a grip on the appalling Islamist marches we have seen in London recently.”

Those comments were then slammed by shadow health secretary Wes Streeting.

The row came as Liz Truss was condemned over her appearance alongside former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon at a right-wing conference in America.

The former PM claimed the Financial Times newspaper was “friends of the deep state” which had conspired to end her time in Downing Street after just 49 days.

At one point, Bannon referred to far-right activist Tommy Robinson as a “hero”, but Truss said nothing.

Sajid Javid, who served in several Tory cabinets alongside Truss, criticised her for not confronting Bannon.

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s shadow paymaster general, wrote to Sunak demanding he remove the Tory whip from both Truss and Anderson.

He said: “Sunak has a clear choice: show some backbone and withdraw the whip or be forever known as too weak to take them on.”

A spokesman for Truss did not respond to a request for comment from HuffPost UK.


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