Former mayor resigns after tweets branding Muslims ‘extremists’ resurface

Former Lambeth mayor also likened Muslim women to penguins

Nadine White
Thursday 13 January 2022 14:18 GMT
Philip Normal
Philip Normal (Lambeth Labour)

A Labour councillor has resigned after a series of offensive tweets resurfaced about Black, Muslim, Arab and transgender people.

Among a series of unearthed social media posts, Philip Normal, who was the mayor of Lambeth in south London between 2020 and 2021, tweeted: “Why do some Muslim women walk like penguins? I’m not being mean? Because I know there’s an issue in the healthcare system there…”

The same year, 2011, the 39-year-old posted a message criticising a “big Black man” for taking up room on a bus, adding the hashtag “he’s not sucking my d**k”.

He went on to describe Whitechapel, in east London, as being an “aggressively Muslim” neighbourhood in a tweet in January 2013.

In a statement posted via Twitter on Thursday, Mr Normal wrote: “I have today resigned as a Lambeth councillor and a Lambeth Labour candidate for Oval ward. I want to apologise again to everyone who I have caused deep hurt and pain to due to my past social media posts.

“I’m proud to have been a ward councillor for Oval and Mayor of Lambeth and I am sorry that my past actions from before I was elected have undermined the positive work that Lambeth Labour councillors do to advance equality in our diverse communities.”

He had previously apologised and promised to have a period of “learning and reflection”.

Mr Normal garnered widespread praise last year for his It’s a Sin-themed ‘La’ t-shirts which raised half a million pounds for HIV charity the Terrence Higgins Trust

Among the many offensive tweets that have resurfaced, the local politician tweeted on 7 July 2011: “Muslim extremists on the overground seem to love Capri-sun!” He also referred to a man as a “hairy Arab” and used the slur “tr***y” in reference to transgender people,

The Labour Party declined to comment when contacted by The Independent.

Mr Normal’s resignation comes after repeated concerns raised by marginalised groups that the Labour Party is failing to tackle racism within its own ranks.

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