Tory councillor investigated over 'racist' tweet about Labour’s Sadiq Khan

Jim Buckley referred to the London mayoral candidate's consituency office as his 'corner shop'

Jon Stone
Thursday 12 November 2015 12:38
Labour's Sadiq Khan with party leader Jeremy Corbyn
Labour's Sadiq Khan with party leader Jeremy Corbyn

A Conservative councillor has been put under investigation after he was accused of making a racist comment about Labour’s London Mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan.

Jim Buckley tweeted a photograph or Mr Khan’s constituency office with its shutters down and commented: “Your next London Mayor? You think his corner shop would be open on a Saturday?”

Mr Khan, whose family has a British Pakistani background, was born in London and worked as a solicitor before becoming an MP.

Claire Edwards, a Labour councillor in the area, told local newspaper the Rugby Advertiser that “the image and comment on this tweet is clearly racist and offensive”.

The tweet was deleted shortly after it was posted.

Mr Buckley told the Independent that he had not meant his tweet to have a racial dimension and that he would like to apologise to Mr Khan in person.

“It was an absolutely moronic choice of words. Come this morning I look at it and I am mortified – I hope that my constituents know I don’t and never have made assumptions about anyone other than the content of their character,” he said.

“If I’ve caused upset to Sadiq or any of the members of community then I am deeply embarrassed. I’d really like to meet Sadiq if possible and apologise in person – that’s all I can say.

“I didn’t even think about it - I would have made the same stupid mistake if it was somebody called John Smith. The idea of anything remotely with a racist context never even remotely occurred to me – that’s why I feel so bad about it.”

The initial tweet

A spokesman for Rugby Borough Council said: “The matter was brought to the attention of the council leader, Cllr Michael Stokes, on November 4 and he immediately referred it to the council’s monitoring officer. An investigation is now underway.”

In August a Conservative councillor in Runnymede Council in Surrey apologised after making a comment about illegal immigrants underneath a picture of 14 naked women in a boat.

Mr Khan was selected as the party’s candidate for Mayor of London in September.

Currently the MP for Tooting, Mr Khan said in March that Labour had ignored people from ethnic minority backgrounds and needed to win back their trust.

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