Suliman Gani: David Cameron apologises to imam for Isis link as he faces pressure over Khan claims

PM and Defence Minister Michael Fallon both accused Mr Gani of sharing a platform with members of the Islamist group in the run-up to the London mayoral election

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David Cameron has been forced to apologise to a former imam who he accused of supporting Isis - amid growing criticism about the party's conduct during the London Mayoral elections.

The Prime Minister, speaking in the House of Commons under Parliamentary privilege two weeks ago, said Suliman Gani, a Tooting Imam who has shared platforms with new London Mayor Sadiq Khan, “supports Isis”. 

A Downing Street spokesman said Mr Cameron had been referring to reports that Mr Ghani supports "an Islamic state" rather than Isis specifically. 

He said: "In reference to the Prime Minister's comments on Sulaiman Ghani, the Prime Minister was referring to reports that he supports an Islamic state. The Prime Minister is clear this does not mean Mr Ghani supports the organisation Daesh and he apologises to him for any misunderstanding."

The apology came after Defence Secretary Michael Fallon was forced to say sorry for repeating the claims in a radio interview last week. Mr Ghani had launched legal action against the MP.

A spokesperson for Mr Fallon said the Defence Secretary had been quoting BBC presenter Andrew Neil. 

“He was unaware of the clarification and apology that the BBC had issued on Neil's claim,” the spokesperson told the Daily Mirror

Watch the moment Corbyn corrects Cameron about Suliman Gani

“Had he been aware, he would not of course have quoted him and as soon he became aware he put the record straight. He naturally apologises for this inadvertent error.”

Friends of Mr Gani issued a statement calling the claims against him false and “cruel and irresponsible in the extreme” and had launched a petition to make Mr Cameron apologise. 

Mr Cameron said in Parliament of Sadiq Khan: "He stood on a platform with people who wanted an Islamic state.

"That is why his attempts to deal with antisemitism are utterly condemned to failure, because he won’t even condemn people who sit on platforms with people like that.”

Hours after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn reminded the PM that Mr Gani was in fact a Conservative supporter, Mr Gani told Sky News he thought the allegations were "preposterous"

Zac Goldsmith's campaign for mayor attracted heavy criticism from members of his party and even his own family following the result last week for use of "smear tactics" to link Mr Khan, who is Muslim, with Islamist extremists. 

The imam stressed he had never supported the terror group, saying: "I have openly condemned the barbarity and monstrosity of Isis."