<figure> <img src="https://cdni.rt.com/files/2018.07/article/5b4886f5dda4c8ca7e8b45a3.jpg"> <figcaption>(Left) Tory backbencher Michael Fabricant © Paul Davey / Barcroft Media via Getty Images (Right) London Mayor Sadiq Khan © Matthew Childs / Reuters / <span class="copyright">Free</span></figcaption> </figure> <strong>Conservative MP Michael Fabricant is facing calls for his resignation after he posted what has been called a “racist” and “Islamophobic” image on Twitter of a pig mounting London Mayor Sadiq Khan.</strong> The now-deleted tweet from Fabricant depicted an image of Khan as a blimp being mounted by a pig. It features US President Donald Trump laughing in the foreground with the accompanying words: <em>“Well, what can I say?”</em>
The tweet from Fabricant has led to a string of MPs, Muslim groups, and political commentators asking what it would take for the Tories to take the issue of Islamophobia in their party seriously.
Labour’s Afzal Khan MP, who is Muslim, tweeted: “This is abhorrent. Tory members, the former chair of the party @SayeedaWarsi , and the @MuslimCouncil have all called for an inquiry into Islamaphobia (sic). If @BrandonLewis respect pledge means anything, Michael Fabricant must be suspended immediately.”
Miqdad Versi, the assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, has said that he is appalled at the picture tweeted by the Tory MP, and asks “What will @BrandonLewis do about #ToryIslamophobia?” Lewis is the chairman of the Conservative Party, who launched a ‘respect pledge’ at the start of 2018.
Tory peer Baroness Warsi, a vocal critic of her party’s perceived lack of action on the issue of Islamophobia, claimed that there will be an inquiry into the incident, but she asked: “how much damage we will do to our reputation in the meantime as we drag our feet.”
Fabricant has claimed that he did not see the image was of Khan. He tweeted: “I deleted it as soon as I saw Sadiq Khan’s face on the picture. I did not see it was him. He may be a useless Mayor, but he’s a nice guy whom I worked with when he was in Parliament.”
Fabricant has since provided greater detail as to how his post came about, saying that he “stupidly tweeted it in a meeting without checking it properly.”
Fabricant, MP for Lichfield, said: “I did not see the detail on my small iPhone… I am genuinely sorry if it caused anyone offence and I am disappointed in the person who sent it to me in the first place.”
It comes as a senior Tory official in Lewes, East Sussex, Carola Godman Irvine, has been suspended after claiming Islamic extremists were raping British women to create “Muslim babies,” Politics Home reports.
It’s reported that she also claimed that the Manchester arena bombing may have been the “wake-up call that was needed” to encourage the police into “radical monitoring” of Muslims.
After coming under increasing pressure to take action on the toxic issue within the party, Lewis, the Tory chairman, vowed to “stamp out” Islamophobia. In June, he told ConservativeHome that the party would work with TellMAMA, which monitors anti-Muslim activity, to help tackle a problem that has seen countless members suspended for offensive comments.
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