From Boris to Rees-Mogg: Do the Tories have their own racism problem?
Boris Johnson faces demands to apologize after he took part in a Tory campaign accused of "dog-whistle racism." He is just the latest Tory MP accused of racism, prompting the question: does the party have a racism problem?
Gaffe-prone Johnson – who was once described by Prime Minister Theresa May as an "FFS," a "fine foreign secretary" – is being called on to apologize for helping a Tory campaign in Romford Market, East London. The campaign reportedly distributed leaflets claiming a Labour seat would turn the borough into an inner-city area with a "massive population" rise and a "crime wave" arriving from Central London. It also cautioned against London Mayor Sadiq Khan's influence potentially making the area resemble Hackney, Newham, Camden, and Barking rather than "traditional" parts of Essex.
Former Tory minister Nick Boles was among those who criticized the campaign, tweeting: "This leaflet is disgraceful. The individuals responsible should apologise, and withdraw it, or face disciplinary action. We cannot attack Corbyn for indulging antisemitism in Labour and allow messages like this to go unchallenged. @BrandonLewis over to you."
The Labour Party is the only Party attempting to get its house in order. Where is your condemnation of the Tory Party doing nothing about the outrageous racists in their ranks? Start with Johnson.— Bivver1 bif (@Bivver5) March 29, 2018
Boris Johnson, Britain’s Chief Diplomat. A proven repeated liar, complicit in a violent assault, a genuine racist, and a joke on the world stage. Is this really the best the Tories have for the Post of Foreign Secretary? #BorisJohnson#Tories#Racismpic.twitter.com/u48Zm9eCET— Nicola James 💚 (@NAJ562) March 25, 2018
Labour MP David Lammy also hit out at Johnson for participating in the smear campaign.
The Tottenham MP branded the leaflet "one long dog whistle about race."
This isn't the first time Johnson has made headlines over racist comments. In 2002, the Telegraph reported him referring to black people as "piccaninnies" with "watermelon smiles." And as editor of the Spectator, the foreign secretary published articles claiming "blacks have lower IQs" and that Caribbean people were "multiplying like flies."
Johnson isn't alone in facing racism accusations; his right honourable colleagues have allegations of their own.
Johnson's fellow Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg came under fire for dining alongside a far-right activist at a meeting of the Traditional Britain Group. The founder of the group, Gregory Lauder-Frost, has been caught on camera making racist remarks about black and Jewish people.
ICYMI I'll repeat: Jacob Rees Mogg is a dog-whistle racist thug with a cut-glass accent. https://t.co/cmFMX525bw— Mike Holden #FBPE (@MikeHolden42) March 27, 2018
Lauder-Frost was recorded calling Baroness Doreen Lawrence, a "n*****," while he branded broadcaster Vanessa Feltz a "fat Jewish slag." He reportedly made the comments while speaking to a 'Hope not Hate' researcher at a London pub last year. The anti-racist organization's investigator, Patrik Hermansson, 25, met Lauder-Frost as he went undercover in the UK's far-right.
Rees-Mogg was pictured dining with Lauder-Frost five years ago after accepting an invitation by the Traditional Britain Group.
The MP, who has been tipped as favorite to succeed Prime Minister Theresa May, said he "deeply regrets" dining with him.
A third Conservative MP, Bob Blackman, was on Monday accused of endorsing Islamophobia after posting an anti-Muslim article on Facebook. The MP for Harrow East was blamed for "giving Islamophobia a pass," posting an article headlined: Muslim Somali sex gang say raping white British children 'part of their culture.' The article came from Hardcore News USA, infamous for running Islamophobic stories.
Dispiriting to see journalists and politicians ignore the Bob Blackman MP Islamaphobia story today after saying all the right things about racism yesterday. He literally shared a racist article saying that rape is a part of Muslim culture. Limited media coverage. 0 condemnation.— Mutaz Elnour (@MutazElnour) March 27, 2018
Miqdaad Versi, the assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, tweeted in response: "Deeply disappointing to see Tory MP Bob Blackman once again endorse Islamophobia."
Blackman, who has other accusations of racism against him, quickly apologized, saying: "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."
The #Tories have a huge problem with anti-Muslim bigotry. The PM engaged in a racist dog whistling campaign against Sadiq Khan. She hasn’t condemned Bob Blackman inviting an anti-Muslim bigot to the HOC, his despicable FB post or the racist leaflet produced by Havering #torieshttps://t.co/wORjfYEc7h— Nishat Siddiqi (@nishat76) March 27, 2018
In July, Conservative MP Anne-Marie Morris was suspended from the party after she was caught using a racist phrase while at the East India Club, the Huffington Post reported.
The Tories anti-semitic problem only seems less because it is dwarfed by racist abuse against other cultures. Why has Anne Marie Morris been reinstated? Why have the Tories resumed racist attacks against Sadiq Khan? Let's talk about something more substantive, Tory racism.— Stephen Latham (@stephen_latham) March 29, 2018
Anne Marie Morris was suspended by the Tories after using the N-word. Recently, her suspension was lifted & she was restored as Tory whip. Tories love racists and anti-Semites. #ToryRacismpic.twitter.com/HvMb7LS452— Marxist-at-Large 🍒 #PCPEU (@azumahcarol) March 29, 2018
The MP for Newton Abbot in Devon was recorded telling the event: "Now I'm sure there will be many people who'll challenge that, but my response and my request is look at the detail, it isn't all doom and gloom. Now we get to the real n****r in the woodpile, which is, in two years what happens if there is no deal?"
When Tory MP uses the word NIGGER she's welcomed back to the Tories.When Tories called for Nelson Mandela to be hung? Tumbleweed.When Boris calls black children 'piccaninnys' he's promoted.But LIFELONG ANTI-RACISM CAMPAIGNER CORBYN is "racist" 😕🤦🏽♀️#EnoughIsEnough— VanityByNature💎 (@VanityByNatureX) March 26, 2018
The MPs are not alone, as the problem seemingly runs throughout the party. Tory Councillor Nick Harrington was also suspended after he tweeted a racist remark in May last year. Upon Ireland supposedly failing to help England qualify for Eurovision, the councillor for the Warwick area of Coventry tweeted: "#Eurovision2017 thanks Ireland.
"You can keep your f'king gypsies! Hard border coming folks!" Harrington is just one of many racist Tory councillors, his colleagues have, respectively, used phrases like "jungle bunnies" to describe the London rioters, "p***s" when talking about their own constituents and "c***k" in reference to a colleague, while another called for the "execution" of travellers.
Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is racist, sexist and an all round despicable person and yet there hasn't been a protest outside parliament by Labour or Tory MPs outraged at the hate this man spews daily. #emilythornberry— Harry Leslie Smith (@Harryslaststand) March 27, 2018
As the mainstream media focus on Labour for their anti-Semitism problem, the Tories' own issues on racism suggest that rot in Westminster goes far deeper.
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