Tory MP has whip suspended over claims Sadiq Khan 'controlled by Islamists'

The decision was made after the former Tory deputy chairman refused to apologise for the remarks made on Friday, a spokesperson said.

Conservative MP Lee Anderson has whip suspended after claiming Sadiq Khan ‘controlled by Islamists’ Getty Images

An MP has had the Conservative whip suspended after “refusing to apologise” for claiming the London mayor was controlled by “Islamists”.

Lee Anderson, who was the party’s former deputy chairman, made the remarks about Sadiq Khan on Friday during a televised interview on GB News.

During the appearance, Anderson said: “I don’t actually believe that the Islamists have got control of our country, but what I do believe is they’ve got control of Khan and they’ve got control of London… He’s actually given our capital city away to his mates.”

A spokesperson for the Conservative chief whip Simon Hart said the decision had been made following Anderson’s “refusal to apologise”.

Pressure had been mounting on Rishi Sunak to take action over the comments from the Ashfield MP, with Khan saying the “deafening silence” of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet amounted to condoning racism.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar branded Anderson’s comments as “disgusting”, adding they were “racism and Islamophobia normalised”.

Posting on X, formerly known as Twitter, the MSP later said the decision to remove the whip was “too little, too late.

He added: “This Tory government has given Islamophobia and other forms of hate a platform.”

Cabinet minister Grant Shapps distanced himself from the remarks on Saturday morning but stopped short of condemning his fellow MP, arguing that people should be allowed to “speak their mind”.

However, business minister Nus Ghani and senior backbencher Sir Sajid Javid were among other senior Tory figures joining a growing chorus of criticism from across the political divide.

A spokesperson for Hart said: “Following his refusal to apologise for comments made yesterday, the Chief Whip has suspended the Conservative whip from Lee Anderson MP.”

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