From Daily Mirror: The Tories have picked as their London mayor candidate Shaun Bailey, who has a track record of making offensive comments on a range of issues from race relations to single parenthood.
From Metro: Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg claims European Union citizens living in Britain will have no more rights after Brexit than those from other countries, and the 1.7m Britons who live in other EU countries will also lose their rights.
‘I do not believe there should be any special terms for EU migrants,’ he wrote to Labour peer Lord Adonis. ‘Once we have left the EU there will be no legal basis to treat them differently from migrants from non-EU countries.’
From Daily Mirror: Jacob Rees-Mogg referred to an African country as “the people’s republic of jam jar or something”, in a speech to Conservative Party Conference.
[Read full article on The Times website…] (paywalled, but free registration allows access to two article per week)
From The Independent: The Tell Mama project, which monitors anti-Muslim violence, has reported an increase in incidents of abuse aimed at women wearing the niqab or hijab over the past week [since Boris Johnson‘s derogatory comments].
From Vice: A high profile Conservative Party grassroots activist forum is littered with Islamophobic comments.
Blog posts about the Tory Islamophobia scandal on the ConservativeHome website received comments which compared the burka to “SS uniforms” and talked of the need to discuss “how to eradicate the cancer” of “Islam and Middle Eastern cultures”. One commenter said Muslims should be “explaining and justifying what their faith has to offer civilised society”, while another seemed to threaten Muslims.
Commenters came up with more offensive epithets for burqa wearers, with one saying they are “going about looking like Guinness bottles or Darth Vader”. A fair few commenters were worried about wearers of the burqa having vitamin D deficiency.
ConservativeHome calls itself “the home of conservatism” and is popular among the Tory grassroots. It publishes a number of high profile Conservative commentators and hosts events at the Conservative Party conference. In 2016, Theresa May attended the ConservativeHome conference party.
From The Guardian: Boris Johnson’s support among grassroots Conservatives, already resurgent in the wake of his resignation over Brexit, appears to have been bolstered further by his claim that Muslim women in burqas resemble letterboxes and bank robbers.
Tory activists have claimed that party members admire the former foreign secretary’s “straight talking” on the controversial issue and suggested his words implied he had listened to some of their concerns about community integration.
One senior grassroots activist said the membership was unlikely to be offended by his choice of language. “I doubt it. They’ll know what Boris is doing. They know how he operates – and they like it. The grassroots talk straight and polishing everything with Westminster-speak is not the way they do it. It won’t do him any harm.”
[Read full article on Guardian website…] Below: Guardian cartoon by Martin Rowson
In March, the then foreign secretary was forced to eat humble pie after referring to his Labour opposite number, Emily Thornberry, as the “Lady Baroness whatever” in the House of Commons – an apparent reference to the title of her husband, Sir Christopher Nugee.
His comment brought a sharp dressing down from the Speaker, John Bercow, who said his language was “inappropriate and frankly sexist”. A contrite Johnson insisted he had meant no harm and apologised “unreservedly” if he hurt Thornberry’s feelings.
More seriously, he faced calls to resign in November following claims that his careless comments about a British-Iranian woman held in Iran had jeopardised her chances of release. Giving evidence to the foreign affairs select committee, Johnson said Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been “training journalists” at the time of her arrest, even though she maintained she was on holiday.
Her dismayed family said the error had been seized upon by Iranian authorities as proof that she represented a threat to the government.
From London Evening Standard: The imam hailed for his heroism in the Finsbury Park terror attack today condemns the Government’s “lacklustre” efforts to fight Islamophobia. Mohammed Mahmoud accuses ministers of failing to show “meaningful engagement” with the Muslim community that is feeling increasingly “vulnerable”.
BBC silent as top Tories exposed holding secret meetings with neo-Nazi leader accused of antisemitism
From Evolve Politics: The mainstream media’s wall-to-wall coverage of the seemingly never-ending Labour anti-Semitism saga shows that they *clearly* must care about the issue a great deal. However, given the unprecedented coverage they’ve given to Labour’s ongoing issues surrounding antisemitism, it seems slightly odd that the same people have offered nothing but eerie silence regarding three top Conservative politicians holding secret meetings with Steve Bannon, an openly racist White Supremacist neo-Nazi leader who is accused of outright antisemitism, and whose supporters were recorded chanting “Jews will not replace us“. Very odd indeed.
From The Courier: The chairman of the Scottish Conservatives’ youth wing has been accused of anti-Semitism after using a phrase developed by the Nazis.
James Bundy, an economics student at St Andrews University, posted on social media at the weekend about a BBC package about gender stereotypes and children that the corporation was using “his taxpayers money….to promote cultural Marxism” – sparking a backlash from some quarters.
The tweet was removed after The Courier asked the Tories about it, but Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer said it was “utterly unacceptable” for a leading figure within a mainstream political party to “use and normalise” a term which has such anti-Semitic underpinnings.
Cultural Marxism was a conspiracy theory developed in Nazi Germany to demonise Jews, and is a term consistently used by far-right groups such as the BNP.
Norwegian far-right mass murderer Anders Breivik also used the term over a hundred times in his “manifesto” before committing the Utoya Island massacre and Oslo bombing in July 2011.
From The Guardian: Andrew Griffiths, the minister for small business, has resigned from the government after being found to have sent more than 2,000 explicit messages to two women in his constituency.
The Conservative MP for Burton, and Theresa May’s former chief of staff, released a statement saying apologising for what he had done, after the texts were put to him by the Sunday Mirror.
In the statement, the 47-year-old junior minister said: “I am deeply ashamed at my behaviour which has caused untold distress to my wife and family, to whom I owe everything, and deep embarrassment to the prime minister and the government I am so proud to serve.
He said he would be seeking professional help to address his unacceptable behaviour sending sex texts. “I do not seek to excuse my behaviour and will be seeking professional help to ensure it never happens again.
From Channel 4 News FactCheck: Michael Fabricant has been captured on video standing in front of what appeared to be the flag of apartheid South Africa on the mantelpiece of his parliamentary office.
South Africa used the tricolour design between 1928 and 1994, and it was flown throughout the apartheid era, when South Africans were forced to live separately along racial lines and non-white citizens were openly discriminated against.
The flag became a symbol of the apartheid system and was regularly set on fire by protesters in a show of defiance.
Earlier this year, the Nelson Mandela Foundation called for the old flag to be banned from public display after became a feature of demonstrations by white farmers in the country.
The foundation said: “These displays demonstrably compound the pain experienced by millions of black South Africans who suffered under apartheid and continue to struggle under its legacy.”
Asked why he had an apartheid-era South Africa flag on his mantelpiece, Mr Fabricant replied on Twitter: “It’s alongside an old soviet-era USSR Hammer & Sickle flag – just out of shot. The cameraman can confirm. They are places I went on work visits in the 1980s. I am neither a Communist nor a supporter of apartheid.”
From The Guardian: Sayeeda Warsi has called on the Conservatives to launch a “full independent inquiry” into Islamophobia in the party and warned the Tories were pursuing a politically damaging policy of denial about the problem in its own ranks.
The former Conservative party chair accused incumbent Brandon Lewis of a “woefully inept” response to recent complaints and added that MP Zac Goldsmith should receive “mandatory diversity training” following his unsuccessful attempt to beat Sadiq Khan to the London mayoralty.
Writing for the Guardian, Lady Warsi said: “I’ve been warning my party of its ‘Muslim problem’ for far too long,” and said that elite indifference to the issue meant the Tories were stuck with a political strategy that amounted little more than “fuck the Muslims”.
From The Guardian: The Muslim Council of Britain has accused the Conservative party of hoping allegations of Islamophobia in its ranks will “magically go away” and complained that the party’s chairman has not responded to its call for an internal inquiry.
Three weeks after it first raised the issue, the group wrote again to Brandon Lewis on Tuesday highlighting further allegations of anti-Muslim prejudice within Tory ranks. It said it was not acceptable to turn “a blind eye to legitimate concerns about bigotry”.
The MCB said further examples of alleged Islamophobic abuse had emerged, including the former party chair Sayeeda Warsi saying she had been racially abused at meetings, and a pro-Tory Facebook group that contained a string of anti-Muslim threats.
From Sky News: A proposed law to make “upskirting” a specific criminal offence has been blocked by a Tory MP.
The Voyeurism (Offences) Bill was stopped in its tracks when #Christchurch MP Sir Christopher Chope objected to it being given a second reading in the Commons.
The bill, which was proposed by Liberal Democrat MP Wera Hobhouse and supported by ministers, was expected to get the nod through the Commons on Friday.
Blocking its progress only requires one MP to shout “object” when the title of a private member’s bill is read out.
From The National: SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford asked: “Mr Speaker, what options are available to us in this house to ensure that the Government understands real concern among people in Scotland at this unprecedented power grab, and how can we make sure that our voices are heard?”
Immediately after the MP asks “what options are available”, an MP can be heard shouting “suicide”.
Multiple reports from the Chamber have suggested Tory MP Ian Liddell Grainger, who represents Bridgwater & West Somerset, was responsible for the comment.
Former Tory candidate quit party due to ‘uncomfortable lurch to the right which caused Islamophobia scandal’
From The Independent: A former Conservative parliamentary candidate who quit the party over its treatment of black and minority ethnic communities has said that, as the son of two refugees, he was “unable to look at himself in the mirror”.
Shazia Awan-Scully writes in the New Statesman: “There is a problem in the Conservative Party – and not just the trials of Brexit. It is the contempt many at both the grassroots and elected levels show towards Islam.
“…The Conservative Party and many within it seem to have a notion that Islam is not compatible with British values and therefore not compatible with the Conservative 1Party.
“…I realised was I could not pursue the values of openness, tolerance and inclusivity that are dear to me whilst a member of the Conservative Party. I’m proud to say I joined Welsh Labour earlier this year.”