Lee Anderson: MP suspended from Tory party over ‘Islamists’ comments

  • By Thomas Mackintosh
  • BBC news

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Lee Anderson told GB News that Islamists had “gained control” of Mr Khan and that he had “given away our capital to his friends”.

Former Tory deputy leader Lee Anderson has been suspended from the party after he “refused to apologise” for comments aimed at Sadiq Khan.

The Conservative Ashfield MP told GB News on Friday that “Islamists” had gained “control” of the mayor of London.

In his response on Saturday, Khan described the comments as “adding fuel to the fire of anti-Muslim hatred.”

If he loses the Conservative whip, Anderson will effectively be expelled from his party in Parliament.

Just over an hour after Mr Khan’s criticism, a spokesman for Tory Party leader Simon Hart said: “Following his refusal to apologize for comments yesterday, the party leader has removed the Conservative whip from Lee Anderson MP suspended.”

Speaking on GB News, Mr Anderson said: “I don’t actually believe that the Islamists are in control of our country, but what I do believe is that they are in control of Khan and they are in control of London… He is in fact in control of power has taken our capital away to his friends.”

Pressure then mounted on Rishi Sunak to take action over the Ashfield MP’s comments, after Mr Khan criticized a “deafening silence” from the Prime Minister and his Cabinet.

Video Caption,

Watch: Sadiq Khan says Lee Anderson’s comments are “Islamophobic, anti-Muslim and racist”

On Saturday afternoon, Mr Khan responded to Mr Anderson’s comments, which he described as “Islamophobic, anti-Muslim and racist”.

“These comments add fuel to the fire of anti-Muslim hatred,” Khan said.

The mayor of London added that he was “unclear why Rishi Sunak and members of his cabinet” did not express or condemn the comments.

Anderson’s comments sparked criticism from some Tories, including former chancellor Sir Sajid Javid, who reposted the video of Mr Anderson making the comments and wrote “a ridiculous comment”.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) said it welcomed Mr Anderson’s suspension, but claimed it “has only come after widespread resentment”.

An MCB spokesperson said: “The Conservative Party has a problem with Islamophobia. They have to face that.”

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