Former Conservative minister condemns 'racist' Tory leaflet warning Labour would turn suburb into 'inner city area'

'This leaflet is disgraceful. The individuals responsible should apologise, and withdraw it, or face disciplinary action'

Rob Merrick
Deputy Political Editor
Wednesday 28 March 2018 12:53 BST
Tom Watson defends Jeremy Corbyn over antisemitic mural

The Conservatives have been hit by a race row after a former Tory minister condemned a party leaflet warning Labour would turn a suburb into an “inner city area”.

The newsletter, produced by local Tories in the outer London borough of Havering, carries a headline: “Labour’s shocking plan to change Romford for good.”

Alongside pictures of Jeremy Corbyn and London mayor Sadiq Khan, it warns Labour would turn it into “boroughs like Hackney, Newham, Camden and Barking, rather than a traditional part of Essex”.

“Romford will increasingly become like an inner city area, if Labour get their way and seize control of Havering Town Hall in May!” the leaflet says.

There would be “massive population increases… vast numbers of high rise blocks of flats… [and] a London crime wave with even less police”, it adds.

Now Nick Boles, the former housing minister, has attacked the leaflet – urging Conservative party chairman Brandon Lewis to step in and ban it.

Nick Boles MP said the leaflet was 'disgraceful' and called for 'the individuals responsible [to] apologise, and withdraw it, or face disciplinary action'

“This leaflet is disgraceful. The individuals responsible should apologise, and withdraw it, or face disciplinary action,” he tweeted.

“We cannot attack Corbyn for indulging anti-semitism in Labour and allow messages like this to go unchallenged.”

The Stand Up To Racism Campaign has also urged Theresa May to take “immediate action”, saying: “There must be no place in the local elections for whipping up racism to win votes.”

The leaflet also warns that “our cherished Union Jack flag [will be] taken down - back to Labour’s political correctness”.

It urges voters to back the “local” Tories at the upcoming May elections in London, in order to “keep Havering special”.

The row comes after Mr Corbyn was forced to apologise for opposing the removal of an antisemitic mural – prompting a major demonstration by Jewish organisations.

Meanwhile, a Conservative MP, Bob Blackman, has expressed “sincere regret” after he was accused of “endorsing Islamophobia” on Facebook.

The Harrow East MP shared a story from Hardcore News USA with the headline: “Muslim Somali sex gang say raping white British children ‘part of their culture'.”

On Tuesday, Mr Blackman said: “I deleted the link as I saw that the headline to the article was phrased inappropriately. I can confirm that I have never visited the website in question and am not part of any group related to it.

“I sincerely regret any upset caused to the Muslim Council of Britain or the wider community for my error.”

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