Carlos FresnedaLondon Correspondent

London Correspondent

Updated Saturday, February 24, 2024-18:56

  • Interview Sadiq Khan, mayor of London: "Brexit was Boris Johnson's other lie"

  • United Kingdom Thousands of Britons demonstrate against anti-Semitism: "I have felt repudiated in my country"

The British Conservative Party has suspended its former vice president and MP

Lee Anderson

for declaring on the ultra-conservative channel GB News that the mayor of London, Labor's Sadiq Khan, "is controlled by Islamists."

Anderson, representative of the hard wing of the party with the current Common Sense Group, will remain a parliamentarian but will do so as an independent after the expulsion.

Sadiq Khan reacted witheringly to his statements, made on Friday, accusing him of "throwing oil on the fire of anti-Islamic hatred."

The British Islamic Council (MCB) also condemned Anderson's words, reiterating that the Conservative Party "has

an Islamophobia problem


Anderson's remarks came at the

pro-Palestine rally

in Westminster on Wednesday, as MPs debated an amendment calling for an

"immediate humanitarian ceasefire" in Gaza


The protesters even projected lights on Big Ben with slogans such as "Stop the bombings", "Cease the fire now" and "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free."

The conservative tabloid

The Daily Mail

, which systematically denounces the

"permissiveness" of Scotland Yard

in the face of outbreaks of anti-Semitism, harshly attacked the authorities in its Thursday edition.

Several conservative deputies also regretted the passive attitude of the police during the pro-Palestinian marches held in the capital since the Hamas terrorist attack on October 7 and in the wake of

Israel's military offensive


Lee Anderson went further during his interview on GB News, in which he directly pointed the finger of blame at Mayor Sadiq Khan, a Muslim and the son of Pakistani immigrants.

"I don't really think the Islamists are in control of the country, but I do think they are in control of Khan and

in control of London

," Anderson said.

"In fact, he has handed over our capital to his colleagues."

Despite the pressure received throughout Friday,

Prime Minister

Rishi Sunak

remained silent for hours.

Early Saturday afternoon, however, the Conservative Party's spokesman in Parliament,

Simon Hart

, announced his suspension "due to his refusal to apologize for his statements."

Lee Anderson, 57, resigned in January as vice-president of the Conservative Party to close ranks with the hardline


and vote against Rishi Sunak's Rwanda law as too soft.

He had been an MP since 2019 and was considered Boris Johnson

's bulwark

in the

red wall

of northern England, after winning

the Ashfield electoral district for the

Tories for the first time since 1977.