Politics latest: Anderson releases first statement about Islamophobia row since criticism from PM | Politics News

Anderson admits words were ‘clumsy’ – but doubles down on criticism of London mayor

Lee Anderson has released a fresh statement as the row over his “Islamophobic” comments continues to rage.

In case you missed it, the Ashfield MP said on Friday he believed “Islamists” had “got control” of Sadiq Khan, the London mayor.

The prime minister has condemned the comments this morning, saying they “weren’t acceptable, they were wrong”.

In a fresh statement released via GB News, for whom he presents a weekly show, Mr Anderson admitted his words were “clumsy”, but refused to apologise and doubled down on his criticism of the mayor.

Mr Anderson said: “If you are wrong, apologising is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength.

“But when you think you are right you should never apologise because to do so would be a sign of weakness.”

He criticised Mr Khan for calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war “with no conditions while the hostages are still there being held at gunpoint by a terrorist organisation”.

He accused the mayor of overseeing “double standards for political benefit”, saying “hundreds” have been arrested on pro-Palestine marches for “racist abuse”, but we “barely hear a peep from the mayor”.

“It is not my intention to upset anyone, I believe in free speech and have 100% respect for people of all backgrounds,” he said.

Mr Anderson said “the vast majority of Muslims are not Islamists” and are “decent, hard-working citizens who make an amazing contribution to our society”.

“Their religion should not be blamed for the actions of a tiny minority of extremists,” he added.

“My words may have been clumsy, but my words were borne out of sheer frustration at what is happening to our beautiful capital city.”


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