Revealed: Islamophobic and far-right posts on Tory councillors' social media accounts

15 November 2019, 10:57

One of the offensive posts in the dossier seen by LBC
One of the offensive posts in the dossier seen by LBC. Picture: LBC News
Matthew Thompson

By Matthew Thompson

Ten serving and former Conservative councillors have made or shared Islamophobic comments on social media, a dossier obtained by LBC has revealed.

The remarks shared on the councillors' social media accounts contain far right and racist material, including insults against Islam.

The latest 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.

Steve Iles, Deputy Mayor of Medway, shared a picture of a bacon sandwich captioned "I am proud to be English"
Steve Iles, Deputy Mayor of Medway, shared a picture of a bacon sandwich captioned "I am proud to be English". Picture: LBC News

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, the former Mayor of Medway, who shared a picture of a bacon sandwich that said “I am proud to be English”. The implication being that people who don’t eat pork are somehow less English. 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.

It emerged today that Anjana Patel is standing as the Tory Parliamentary candidate for Brent North in the upcoming election.

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?”

A Conservative Party 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.

The dossier comes in the same week that the Conservatives were forced to suspend several councillors after the Guardian was passed a similar dossier of Islamophobic comments.