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UK PM Rishi Sunak denies his party has 'Islamophobic tendencies' after Anderson comments

Anderson said the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was under the control of Islamists in widely condemned remarks that prompted the Conservatives to suspend him on Saturday.
Last Updated 26 February 2024, 10:31 IST

London: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak denied on Monday that his governing party has Islamophobic tendencies, saying comments by Conservative lawmaker Lee Anderson were unacceptable and that was why he had been suspended.

Anderson said on Friday the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was under the control of Islamists in widely condemned remarks that prompted the Conservatives to suspend him on Saturday.

Asked whether the party had Islamophobic tendencies, Sunak told BBC radio: "No, of course it doesn't."

"Lee's comments weren't acceptable. They were wrong, and that's why he's had the whip suspended," he added.

Khan, who regularly speaks of the importance of fighting antisemitism, misogyny and homophobia, has said he regarded Anderson's comments as racist and Islamophobic, and that they would "pour fuel on the fire of anti-Muslim hatred".

A survey conducted from Feb. 16-18 by Savanta showed that 29 per cent of Britons believed the Conservatives had a problem with Islamophobia, the most of any major British political party.

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(Published 26 February 2024, 10:31 IST)

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