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Tory MP who allegedly said Asian ministers 'look the same' loses charity role
12 October 2021, 21:31 | Updated: 12 October 2021, 21:34
A Conservative MP has been forced to step down from his charity role after confusing two of his party's most senior British Asian politicians and allegedly saying "they all look the same".
James Gray, who has been the Tory MP for North Wiltshire since 1997, has become embroiled in a racism row after he confused Nadhim Zahawi and Sajid Javid at a reception in Parliament to honour St John Ambulance.
Mr Gray holds the role of "commander of the charity" of St John Ambulance, and it was reported by the Mail Online that he confused the then vaccine minister and the health secretary.
When his mistake was pointed out, he was claimed to have said to guests: “They all look the same to me” - something Mr Gray denies.
Mr Zahawi was said to have immediately had a private conversation with his fellow Tory MP following his remark.
Mr Gray told MailOnline he had not said, “they all look the same to me”, but admitted confusing the two ministers.
LBC has approached Mr Gray for comment about the allegations - which he has previously denied.
Mr Gray made the mistake when he was hosting the reception on September 8 to thank volunteers and frontline staff for their efforts during the Covid pandemic.
A spokesman for St John Ambulance said: "St John does not tolerate racism in any way, shape or form. We spoke with James Gray following the event about our values as an open, inclusive and progressive charity."
LBC understands that the charity has asked Mr Gray to step down from his St John activities pending inquiries.