PM insists Lee Anderson is not a racist as Tories admit he may very well be let again in

RIshi Sunak has been slammed for “lacking the backbone” to name out Islamophobia because the Tories instructed Lee Anderson may very well be let again into the celebration.

The controversial MP has insisted he is not going to apologise after he had the Conservative whip suspended for claiming Sadiq Khan is managed by “Islamists”.

The PM tonight stated he didn’t consider Mr Anderson was a racist or Islamophobe, however admitted his remarks have been “wrong” and “not acceptable”. He additionally denied the celebration has an issue with Muslims. Mr Sunak advised ITV Calendar: “I don’t believe Lee is a racist person or an Islamophobic person, but the comments were wrong.” He repeatedly refused to say if the remarks have been Islamophobic.

Asked on BBC native radio whether or not his celebration has an Islamophobia downside, the Prime Minister stated: “No, of course it doesn’t.”

Transport Secretary Mark Harper suggested Mr Anderson could be welcomed back by the party, telling Sky News: “He’s contributed rather a lot previously. I’d wish to see him be capable to contribute to the Conservative Party sooner or later.”

But Mr Anderson stated that he is not going to take again his remarks. He advised GB News: “If you are wrong, apologising is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. But when you think you are right you should never apologise because to do so would be a sign of weakness.”

Keir Starmer stated Mr Sunak was “too weak” to cope with the issues inside his celebration. The Labour chief, who was on a go to to Shrewsbury, stated: “It’s Islamophobia and the Prime Minister should call it out for what it is. It’s very straightforward, he lacks the backbone to call this out for what it is because he’s leading a divided party, a chaotic party and it’s no wonder people have just had enough of this after 14 years, and desperately want change.”

Labour Party Chair Anneliese Dodds said that Mr Anderson’s comments were “only one part of a very disturbing pattern” in the case of Islamophobia within the Tory Party. “Rishi Sunak promised a government of professionalism, integrity and accountability but has delivered sleaze and scandal and shown himself to be far too weak to stand up to those espousing extreme views in his party,” she added.

In a letter to Tory Party Chair Richard Holden, she wrote: “Every political party has a responsibility to confront racism and discrimination wherever it occurs… the case of Lee Anderson has shone a spotlight on your party’s failure to take the action necessary to confront the scourge of Islamophobia.”

In the Commons, Labour MP Dawn Butler said she had to seek extra police support over the weekend due to receiving far-right abuse that she said had been “inspired and unleashed” in part by the comments made by Mr Anderson.

On Tory WhatsApp groups, MPs raised concerns about a backlash from the party’s supporters to Mr Anderson’s suspension. Jill Mortimer, the Tory MP for Hartlepool, said a voter had told her in an email the decision was the “final nail in your party’s coffin”. Wrexham MP Sarah Atherton said: “I’ve lodged my concerns due to an instant backlash from members.”