Rishi Sunak warns against hatred in politics after row with

Rishi Sunak warns against hatred in politics after row with Lee Anderson

  • By Michael Sheils McNamee
  • BBC News

1 hour ago

Rishi Sunak has warned of the dangers of polarization and hate in politics after a turbulent week in Westminster.

He spoke after Tory MP Lee Anderson was suspended from his party for refusing to apologize for comments about London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

The prime minister did not address the remarks directly, but spoke about protests and the safety of MPs.

Labour's Sir Keir Starmer urged Mr Sunak to “get a grip” on his party.

Ashfield MP Mr Anderson was criticized by both Labor and Tory MPs after he told GB News that Islamists had “taken control” of Mr Khan and that he was “giving away our capital to his friends”. have.

His suspension was confirmed by Conservative leader Simon Hart on Saturday, meaning he is no longer a member of the parliamentary party and will sit as an independent MP.

The capital's Labor mayor, Mr Khan, sought to keep up the pressure on the prime minister by describing the move as “belated” and saying his silence on the matter was “tacit approval”.

He had previously said Mr Anderson's comments were “Islamophobic, anti-Muslim and racist”.

After his suspension, Mr Anderson said he “understood the difficult position” he had put the prime minister in and said he would “continue to support the Government's efforts to denounce extremism in all its forms – be it anti-Semitism or Islamophobia”.

On Saturday, Labor leader Sir Keir questioned the Prime Minister's judgment in appointing him to the post.

He said Mr Sunak must “confront the extremists in his party” and has a responsibility to “stop this slide into ever more toxic rhetoric”.

Image source: Getty Images

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Lee Anderson told GB News Islamists had “taken control” of Mr Khan and he had “gave away our capital to his friends”.

In a statement on Saturday evening, Mr Sunak did not address Mr Anderson's words but warned of an “explosion of prejudice and anti-Semitism” since Hamas' attacks on Israel on October 7.

“The events of the last few weeks are just the latest in an emerging pattern that should not be tolerated,” the Prime Minister said.

He said legitimate protests had been “hijacked by extremists” and elected officials had been “verbally threatened and physically and violently attacked.”

“And this week a very dangerous signal was sent in Parliament that this kind of intimidation is working,” he said.

Mr Sunak was speaking following a week of heightened tensions at Westminster, with a row over MPs' vote on a ceasefire in Gaza and concerns about MPs' safety.