Tory MP's claim that Birmingham has 'no-go areas' was 'ridiculous', West Midlands Mayor tells LBC

5 March 2024, 09:43 | Updated: 5 March 2024, 09:44

Andy Street addresses Paul Scully's 'no-go zones' comments

Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

A Tory MP's claim that parts of Birmingham are 'no-go areas' was "ridiculous", the Mayor of the West Midlands has told LBC.

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Responding to caller John's question about where his loyalties lie, as a Conservative mayor, Andy Street said: "The question is actually very straightforward to answer, because my loyalties lie to my city and region.

"I'm not just saying that this morning, I think the comment [by Paul Scully] was made last Monday afternoon and I was very, very quick onto it to say I didn't recognise it in any way.

"I would describe it as ridiculous."

Watch Again: Nick Ferrari is joined by the Conservative West Midlands Mayor Andy Street | 05/03/24

Speaking on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, Mr Street went on to say that there is "no part of the West Midlands" that is a no-go zone and described Sparkhill, the area singled out by Mr Scully, as a "vibrant and welcoming" area.

Mr Street then went on to criticise Lee Anderson's comments about Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, being controlled by his 'Islamist mates'.

Read More: 'I'm sorry I chose those words': Tory MP Paul Scully apologises after claiming there were 'no-go areas' in some cities

Read More: Paul Scully joins exodus of Tory MPs quitting at the next election

Speaking last week about regions in London and Birmingham, Mr Scully, a former minister for the capital, said there were some “no-go areas” where Muslim people live.

“The point I am trying to make is if you look at parts of Tower Hamlets, for example, where there are no-go areas," he told the BBC.

"Parts of Birmingham, Sparkhill, where there are no-go areas, mainly because of doctrine, mainly because of people using, abusing in many ways, their religion because it is not the doctrine of Islam, to espouse what some of these people are saying.

“That, I think, is the concern that needs to be addressed.”

Stratford Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham
Stratford Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham. Picture: Alamy
Paul Scully
Paul Scully. Picture: Alamy

Then, days later, speaking to LBC's Sangita Myska, Mr Scully apologised for his comments and explained that he had made them based off his own personal experience in Sparkhill.

Mr Scully announced yesterday that he would not stand as an MP for the Tories at the next election, claiming the party had lost its way.

Mr Scully says this decision was made prior to the row about his 'no-go areas' comments.

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