Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 October 2019

Conservative members suspended over Islamophobic posts

The party is also being criticised for reinstating a man who had tweeted Islamophobic comments in 2015

Theresa May's party has taken action, but some say it hasn't gone far enough. WPA Pool/Getty Images
Theresa May's party has taken action, but some say it hasn't gone far enough. WPA Pool/Getty Images

The British Conservative party has suspended fourteen of its members for posting Islamophobic and racist comments online.

Comments made by members on a pro-Tory Facebook page called Jacob Rees-Mogg Supporters Group included a call to “get rid of all mosques" and for Muslims to be “turfed out of public office”, The Independent reported.

A spokesman for the British governing party said: “This Facebook group is in no way affiliated with the Conservative Party and many of the people identified on it are not party members.

“However we have identified some people who are party members and they have been immediately suspended, pending further investigation.

“When we find evidence of members making offensive or inappropriate comments, we consistently take decisive action. Discrimination or abuse of any kind is wrong and will not be tolerated.”

The Muslim Council of Britain called again for an inquiry into Islamophobic abuse online.

"We've seen MPs, councillors and members engage in bigotry that should have no place in a modern Conservative Party," a spokesperson said.

"Yet the constructive call by Muslim communities for an independent inquiry into the issue has been ignored again and again.”

The suspensions came just hours after it emerged another Conservative member was reinstated to the party after making Islamophobic comments on social media and allowed to stand for office in 2017.

In 2015 Peter Lamb tweeted "Islam like alcoholism [sic]. The first step to recovery is admit you have a problem."

Mr Lamb apologised for his previous comments on Twitter last week and declared he was leaving the party on Tuesday.

Former Tory MP Baroness Sayeeda Warsi told PoliticsHome that issues such as Mr Lamb’s reinstatement show Islamophobia is “institutional” within the party.

“It is appalling that a man suspended for Islamophobic comments just two years ago has been re-admitted and allowed to stand as a candidate," she said.

“This rot is institutional and it’s why I have been urging the prime minister and others to hold an independent inquiry.”

Updated: March 5, 2019 09:31 PM

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