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Welsh Secretary criticised for not condemning MP’s ‘Islamaphobic’ comments

27 Feb 2024 4 minute read
UK Parliament official portrait of Lee Anderson(L) and David TC Davies

Martin Shipton

Shadow Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens has criticised Secretary of State for Wales David Davies for failing to condemn controversial Islamaphobic comments made by suspended Tory MP Lee Anderson.

Mr Anderson, the former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, was suspended at the weekend after he refused to apologise for claiming “Islamists” had achieved “control” over London and that the city’s Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan had “given our capital city away to his mates”.

Asked on BBC Radio Wales why Mr Anderson had been appointed deputy chairman of the party in the first place, Mr Davies said: “I think Lee has made a good contribution to the Conservative Party over the years and I hope this issue is going to get sorted out. It’s a bit rich to hear criticisms from Labour when you’ve got one of their senior frontbenchers [deputy leader Angela Rayner] who has called Tories scum.

I’ve had that shouted at me in the street by people who now think it’s OK to do it., because they’ve heard it from Labour frontbenchers, so I’ll take no lessons from Labour.”

Suspension

When it was put to Mr Davies that what Mr Anderson had said should have led to immediate suspension, that former Prime Minister Liz Truss had failed to condemn far right activist Tommy Robinson during an interview in the United States and that former Home Secretary Suella Braverman shouldn’t talk about Islamists in the way she does, and that the Conservative Party objectively had a problem just as Labour had under Jeremy Coirbyn, Mr Davies said: “I don’t know the details of what conversations took place after Lee made his comments, but I understand from the press more than anything else that he was given a chance to apologise – and that’s fair enough, just as I think Labour wanted one of their candidates in the Rochdale by-election to apologise,”

Presenter Vaughan Roderick said: “He did apologise, and later on they still suspended him.”

Mr Davies said: “At the end of the day, parties will take action if people cross lines. Lee has been given a chance to apologise, but I think he’s got a contribution to make and I hope he might think about that. But I’ve been a victim.

Somebody came up to me a couple of weeks ago in a bookshop and started abusing me in a pretty threatening fashion. It happens all the time and I’m sorry that certain people, not in the Conservative Party but elsewhere, seem to have given others a licence to go and call people scum in the street and I think Labour need to look to some of their own senior frontbenchers when it comes to the way in which we’ve allowed appalling language and abuse to be normalised.”

Conspiracy theories

Responding to Mr Davies’ comments, Ms Stevens said: “”David’s refusal to condemn Lee Anderson’s disgusting rhetoric is part of a growing tolerance of conspiracy theories at the top of the Conservative Party, which must not be tolerated. Language is important. The public knows that. He knows that.”

Given his previous expressions of support for Mr Anderson, we also asked Andrew RT Davies, the Welsh Conservative Senedd group leader, for his view of the MP’s latest statements, but he did not respond to our message.

When Mr Anderson was appointed deputy chairman of the Tory party in February 2023, Mr Davies posted a video of a crowd jumping deliriously in celebration under a comment that read: “Lee Anderson appointed Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party!”

Cllr Andrew Morgan, the Labour leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf council, responded: “We are now well into the series of that Tory soap opera called ‘the beginning of the end’, to which Mr Davies replied: “As a plain speaking former miner, I have no doubts Lee’s common sense approach will go down very well in Rhondda Cynon Taf.”

Two months later Mr Davies posted a further message praising Mr Anderson which stated: “Really looking forward to our Welsh Conservative conference in Newport on 28th/29th April! The guest speaker at our conference supper will be Lee Anderson! Promises to be a cracking evening.”


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Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago

This is just a farce now. Why did they remove the whip from 30p. They say what he said was wrong but cannot explain what is wrong. They cannot accept the Islamaphobic issues in their far right party. In not condemning 30p, they are what they suspended him for. There is nothing left to say. What a party, what a mess.

ARTD still 30p BFF? How much room does Reform have for new members I wonder.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Ever wondered why Sunak finds the UK public so awkward to deal with ?

A piece on today’s Guardian might help explain…

“Why are you asleep” Rahul Gandhi has walked four thousand miles asking the ‘common folk’ of India to wake up and smell the Chai…

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

The reason why Welsh Secretary David TC Davies hasn’t condemned Lee Anderson’s Islamophobic comments is because he secretly agrees with him. Not forgetting any criticism by him as a cabinet minister would undermine Rishy Sunak’s lily livered response to his comments opening wide a gaping festering wound in the Tory party where bigotry & islamophobia is rife, not forgetting they fear an exodus of right-wing voters to Reform UK which would mean a catastrophic haemorrhage of Tory MPs in the upcoming general election.

Last edited 1 month ago by Y Cymro
Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
1 month ago

All Tories are Closet Racists they have more faces than the clock in London BIG BEN

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 month ago

Question for Davies about Tory rot. Answer? Something about Labour. It may seem pathetic and annoying that neither he nor any Tory will admit to being Islamophobic but to be fair, they don’t need to really. The crystal clear, demonstrable and undeniable truth is that they are. For once , at least, a little transparency from smoke & mirrors BS central.

Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago
Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

Blanket Davies, T C Davies, 30p Lee, birds of a feather flock together.

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
1 month ago

As well as TC and RT, what does Natasha think?
After all, she wanted to become Mayor of London.

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