Lee Anderson refuses to rule out joining Reform UK after Sadiq Khan Islamist claims

Lee Anderson has refused to rule out joining Reform UK after he was suspended by the Tories for suggesting Sadiq Khan is controlled by Islamists.

The former Tory deputy chairman also criticised the party for not showing him a “bit more backing”. PM Rishi Sunak called the Ashfield MP’s comments wrong but avoided saying if he thought they were Islamophobic.

Sir Keir Starmer, Labour’s leader, said Mr Sunak lacked the “backbone” to call out Islamophobia. Mr Anderson says his attacks on Mr Khan were borne out of frustration at the London mayor’s record.

During a GB News discussion on Friday afternoon, Mr Anderson said: “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, and they’ve got control of Starmer as well.”

He later added: “People are just turning up in their thousands, and doing anything they want, and they are laughing at our police. This stems with Khan, he’s actually given our capital city away to his mates.”

Mr Anderson had been responding to a Daily Telegraph article by ex-Home Secretary Suella Braverman, in which she said: “The truth is that the Islamists, the extremists and the antisemites are in charge now.”

Ms Braverman said Islamists “bullied the Labour Party” over its position on the war in Gaza and that some people on pro-Palestinian marches had links to Islamists. In a later statement released via GB News – who employ the MP as a broadcaster – Mr Anderson said: “When you think you are right you should never apologise because to do so would be a sign of weakness.

“My words may have been clumsy but my words were borne out of sheer frustration at what is happening to our beautiful capital city.

Mr Anderson told the channel on Monday that the Conservative Party “could have given me a little bit more backing”, after he showed “a little bit of contrition”.

He argued pro-Palestinian protests outside Parliament and threats to MPs showed Mr Khan had “lost control of the city”.

He insisted his comments “weren’t racist at all” and said he would not apologise to Mr Khan “while I have a breath in my body”. Pressed over whether he would join the right-wing Reform UK party, the former Labour councillor declined to comment but said he had “been on a political journey”.

He said: “You’ll say Lee Anderson rules out/doesn’t rule out joining the Reform party, so I’m making no comment on my future.”

When asked if he would be a Tory candidate at the next election, Mr Anderson said “that’s not up to me”, but added that he would still be standing.

Reform UK leader Richard Tice, also a GB News presenter, appeared to leave the door open to Mr Anderson on Monday, saying he “may have been clumsy in his precise choice of words, but his sentiments are supported by millions of British citizens, including myself”.

“I do not and will not give a running commentary on any discussions I have with any MPs, but those MPs have my number.”

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Mr Sunak said Mr Anderson’s choice of words “wasn’t acceptable, it was wrong, that’s why the whip was suspended”.

He said it was “incumbent” on parliamentarians not to inflame debate “in a way that is harmful to others”.

The prime minister also denied there were Islamophobic tendencies in his party. But Labour leader Sir Keir told reporters: “This is really basic. Islamophobia is something which should be called out by every political leader, and the prime minister isn’t calling it out because he’s too weak.” In an Evening Standard article Mr Khan said Mr Anderson had “poured petrol on the fires of hatred”.

“It shouldn’t be hard to call out comments that are so unambiguously ignorant, prejudiced and racist. Yet those at the top of the Conservative government are stubbornly refusing to do so

Source: BBC

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Unknown man threatens to kill President Mnangagwa

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