Sadiq Khan criticises PM for failing to condemn Lee Anderson’s remarks

  • By Thomas Mackintosh
  • BBC news

Video Caption,

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

Sadiq Khan has described the former Tory deputy leader’s comments as “throwing fuel on the fire of anti-Muslim hatred”.

Lee Anderson told GB News that “Islamists” were “in control” of the mayor of London.

His words, which followed pro-Palestinian protests outside Parliament, have been condemned by some conservatives.

But Khan criticized Rishi Sunak and his cabinet for what he called a “deafening silence”.

On Friday, Mr Anderson told GB News: “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 actually our capital away to his friends.”

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

In response, Mr Khan described Mr Anderson’s comments as “Islamophobic, anti-Muslim and racist”.

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

‘I fear that the deafening silence from Rishi Sunak and the Cabinet is condoning this racism and confirming to many people across the country that there is a hierarchy when it comes to racism in this country.

“It is unclear to me why Rishi Sunak and members of his cabinet are not raising this and condemning it.”

His comments followed an article by former Home Secretary Suella Braverman in the Daily Telegraph, in which she said “the truth is that the Islamists, the extremists and the anti-Semites are now in power”.

A Tory source previously told the BBC: “Lee was simply making the point that the Mayor, in his capacity as Police and Crime Commissioner for London, has utterly failed to get to grips with the appalling Islamist marches we recently saw in London. have seen.”

But Neil Garratt, Conservative leader at City Hall, said he had “no shortage of criticism of Mayor Khan”, but added: “He is not an Islamist, he is not in the pockets of Islamists, and I am completely disagree with anyone who says otherwise. “.

Mohammed Amin, a former chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum who resigned after Boris Johnson became leader in 2019 and is now a Liberal Democrat, told BBC politicians they have a responsibility over the language they use and explained what kind of action he would expect. of the Conservative Party.

“I expected the Prime Minister to take immediate action by denouncing the comments and calling Mr Anderson to Downing Street to explain,” he said.

“If he failed to provide a satisfactory explanation, consider taking the whip off him.

“That’s the kind of action I would have expected from David Cameron in the good old days, but unfortunately the Conservative Party has deteriorated very badly since then.”

The BBC has approached Mr Anderson and the government for comment.

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