Shelagh Fogarty 1pm - 4pm
LBC obtains dossier showing 10 Tory councillors sharing Islamophobic comments
15 November 2019, 10:52 | Updated: 15 November 2019, 11:14
Ten serving and former Conservative councillors have made or shared Islamophobic comments on social media.
The comments, set out in a dossier obtained by LBC, contain some disturbing far right and racist material. The revelations will fuel an escalating row over Islamophobia, after the Party’s decision not to hold an independent inquiry into the issue.
One post shared by a serving councillor back in 2016 said: “Islam: come for the infidel-killing, whore-stoning, religious purity, stay for the terrific falafels” over a picture of blood-soaked Asian men wielding knives.
Our findings come in the same week that the Conservatives were forced to suspend several councillors after the Guardian was passed a similar dossier of Islamophobic comments.
Only last week, Michael Gove appeared to commit the Conservative Party to holding an inquiry into Islamophobia within its ranks “before the end of the year”. But Boris Johnson has since said there will be no such inquiry.
The dossier obtained by LBC contains posts by:
A councillor in England, whose Twitter account retweeted a series of vile Islamophobic posts on Twitter, including a picture of a packet of bacon that said “Syrian Christian test: if they eat it, let them in”, and posts that discussed “Muslim invaders”.
LBC has spoken to the councillor who has now been suspended by the Conservative Party. He denies being the owner of the twitter account in question, and there is evidence to support that claim, but it is currently under investigation. The account has since been deleted.
Steve Iles, former Mayor of Medway, who shared a picture of a bacon sandwich that said “I am proud to be English”. The implication being that those Muslims who don’t eat pork are somehow less English. His Facebook account has now been deleted.
Jeff Collins, a councillor in Camborne in Cornwall, shared a similar post.
Maria Alexandrou, a councillor in Enfield, who shared a post criticising “Muslim mayor” Sadiq Khan for meeting the Emir of Qatar but not Donald Trump.
Anjana Patel, a councillor in Harrow, who tweeted angrily at Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, asking her “how are you going to help?” after Hindu girls in India were molested and converted to “her religion” (Islam). As if it was somehow Malala’s responsibility.
Iman Atta from the anti-Islamophobia charity TellMAMA said: “This is clearly unacceptable and we have to question how did these councillors become councillors in the Conservative Party when they’re promoting a narrative that is anti-Muslim.
There has to be a proper assessment in place.
But also, the councillors that have had their accounts taken down, what are the procedures and investigations that have been put in place to address their mindset?”
We put our findings to the Conservative party, and a spokesman said: "We had already been made aware of the cases in this document and have already concluded the relevant investigations which have resulted in a range of sanctions, including expulsions.
"The Conservative Party will never stand by when it comes to prejudice and discrimination of any kind. The swift action we take on not just anti-Muslim discrimination, but discrimination of any kind is testament to the seriousness with which we take such issues."