Tory councillor suspended over Islamophobic comments about bombing mosques made in Facebook group he moderates

Several comments refer to Muslims as ‘ragheads’ while mayor of London Sadiq Khan is called a ‘conniving little muzrat’

Saturday 02 March 2019 15:53
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One person commented in the group that all mosques should be bombed
One person commented in the group that all mosques should be bombed

A Tory councillor has been suspended by the Conservative Party after a Facebook group he moderates was found to contain several Islamophobic and racist comments.

Martyn York, a Conservative councillor in Wellingborough, was a moderator for “Boris Johnson: Supporters’ Group”, which included comments calling for the bombing of mosques around the UK.

The group, which has 4,800 members, can only be joined after receiving approval from moderators, and its guidelines call on members not to post hate speech.

Comments on the group, however, violate these rules, with several referring to Muslims as “ragheads” and calling immigrants “cockroaches”.

In one comment, the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is called a “conniving little muzrat”, and Muslim Labour MP Naz Shah is also targeted with abuse and told to “p*** off to [her] own country”.

Dorinda Bailey, a former Conservative council candidate, has also been accused of supporting Islamophobia with her response following a post in the group calling for mosques to be bombed.

After someone posted that any mosques “found to preach hate” should be shut down, another user commented: “Bomb the f****** lot.”

Ms Bailey said: “I agree, but any chance you could edit your comment please. No swearing policy.”

There were also comments in the group telling an African solider to “p*** off back to Africa” and for Labour MP Fiona Onasanya to be “put on a banana boat back home”.

After the offensive posts were highlighted, Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis confirmed Mr York’s suspension and said Ms Bailey was no longer a member of the party.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), which has repeatedly called for an inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party, said this was further evidence of a “significant problem”.

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“A Facebook group led by Conservative politicians containing unashamed bigotry has made it completely apparent that there is a significant problem with racism and Islamophobia within the party of government,” a spokesperson for the MCB said.

“Polls revealing that half of all Conservative voters in 2017 believe Islam to be a threat to the British way of life have shown how widespread this sentiment is. We reiterate our call for the government to launch an inquiry into Islamophobia and lead by example by committing to tackle bigotry everywhere, not just where it’s politically convenient.”

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