Minister disagrees with Lee Anderson’s statement that Sadiq Khan is controlled by Islamists.

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The secretary of transportation stated that Lee Anderson was incorrect in claiming that Sadiq Khan was influenced by Islamists. However, he declined to comment on whether the remarks about the mayor of London were discriminatory.

When asked about the statement made by the previous Conservative vice-chair regarding Khan, which included the accusation that he had “handed over our capital city to his friends”, Mark Harper chose not to comment on whether it was due to biased views against the mayor, who is of Muslim faith.

Harper stated to Sky News that it was incorrect. They will not engage in a debate about the correctness or incorrectness. In their opinion, what was said was incorrect, and they consider it to be a significant mistake.

Harper suggested that there was a chance for Anderson to be readmitted to the Conservative party if he apologized for his remarks on GB News, which led to him being removed from the party on Saturday.

Harper stated that the issue at hand does not concern him, as it is the responsibility of the chief whip. Having previously held the role of chief whip, he does not feel it is his place to dictate how the current chief whip should handle their duties.

He stated: “He made false and inappropriate statements about Sadiq Khan. He was given the chance to take back those comments and apologize for them. However, he did not do so. As a result, strong and decisive action was taken and he has been removed from his position.”

When questioned about the matter on BBC1’s Breakfast show, Harper stated, “There are numerous reasons to criticize Sadiq Khan. However, what Lee Anderson said about him was incorrect and it was inappropriate for him to make those comments.”

When asked about the potential impact on British Muslims if Anderson is allowed to rejoin the party, Harper stated that the swift and firm action taken to remove his whip, after he refused to apologize or retract his statements, conveys a clear message that the Conservative party does not condone such language.

Some Tories have expressed concern over Anderson’s remarks and the Conservative party’s failure to openly denounce the apparent prejudice against Muslims, which may have an anti-Muslim undertone.

Conservative peer Sayeeda Warsi, who served as a cabinet minister in David Cameron’s administration, stated that Rishi Sunak must find a way to refer to Islamophobia as such.

“Why can’t the prime minister address anti-Muslim racism and bigotry? Why doesn’t he simply use those terms?” she expressed to the Guardian.

Sunak expressed his concerns about a rise in prejudice and antisemitism following the Hamas attacks in Israel on October 7th. He did not directly address Islamophobia.

Khan publicly reprimanded the prime minister on social media for neglecting to address the issue of anti-Muslim discrimination.

On Sunday, during an interview with Laura Kuenssberg on BBC, Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden stated that he did not share the same views as Anderson, but also mentioned that he did not believe Anderson intended to make Islamophobic remarks.


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