Just over 24 hours after the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) reiterated its call for an independent inquiry into “Islamophobia in the Tory Party”, another two Conservative Councillors have just been suspended from the party after the emergence of historic alleged anti-Muslim hate.
Linda Freedman, who was elected to the Edgware ward in the most recent local elections and now sits as a Tory Councillor in Barnet, was suspended after tweets emerged showing her expressing support for the detention of Muslims in a response to a Washington Post article.
Freedman was responding to US actor George Takei’s article, titled “They interned my family. Don’t let them do it to Muslims” with a (now deleted) tweet, where she said:
“They interned my German ones for 1 year during WW2. It was the right thing to do for the sake of security.”
Freedman’s tweet was picked up by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, who swiftly endorsed the MCB’s call for an investigation into the party.
The Muslim Council of Britain has called upon the Conservative Party to launch inquiry into Islamaphobia in party. Could I suggest they start with asking this Barnet Conservative Councillor about her views which if true seem to support the detention of Muslims for being Muslims. pic.twitter.com/XfLyxtIfiy
— John McDonnell MP (@johnmcdonnellMP) May 31, 2018
However, this was not Freedman’s only ‘skeleton in the closet’ regarding her Twitter past. Upon researching, EvolvePolitics found the following tweets from the (now former) Councillor, where she:
- Labels a user a “self hating Jew”:
@TonyGreenstein Nothing worse than a self hating Jew.
— Cllr Linda Freedman (@lindi_lmf) March 26, 2016
- Defends Katie Hopkins by echoing her language by calling another user a “cockroach”
Ignore the cockroach. He's only got 90 followers. #wasteofspace
— Cllr Linda Freedman (@lindi_lmf) January 2, 2017
- Links to a somewhat questionable article headlined: “Christians may be bombed, for that it convention. Muslims may not be gassed, for that is taboo”.
Christians may be bombed, for that it convention. Muslims may not be gassed, for that is taboo http://t.co/TerRVXxC0a"
— Cllr Linda Freedman (@lindi_lmf) August 29, 2013
Earlier today, the Barnet Conservatives tweeted out the confirmation of Freedman’s suspension:
Following historic tweets by Cllr Linda Freedman being brought to our attention, she was suspended last night from the Hendon Conservative Association and the Barnet Council Conservative Group, pending an internal investigation. (1/2)
— Barnet Conservatives (@BarnetTories) June 1, 2018
And just hours ago, a second councillor, Stephen Ardley, was suspended following alleged anti-Muslim comments made about Sadiq Khan.
The Conservative Councillor, who was elected to the Gunton Ward of Suffolk County Council last year, made the following comment on a Facebook post:
“I think it’s unbelievable that a Muslim was actually elected the Mayor of this great Christian country – oh wait he’s labour so the blind just vote red and left.”
Ardley was also a follower of ‘English and Proud’, a nationalist Facebook page which has recently called for the release of Tommy Robinson.
According to Shehab Khan of the Independent, a Conservative Party spokesman stated that:
“Stephen Ardley has been suspended. An investigation is under way.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has been the victim of intensive vitriol from the right, is no stranger to being on the end of anti-Muslim sentiment from Tory politicians, with Zac Goldsmith’s failed 2016 Mayoral campaign being widely derided for displaying brazen Islamophobia against his Labour opponent.
With two Conservative Councillors having been suspended in the space of just a few hours, and with numerous more having been suspended in the past months for similar abuse, the pressure is growing ever more intense on Theresa May to finally accept the MCB’s demands to instigate an urgent investigation into Tory Islamophobia.
Just 10 days ago, Evolve Politics reported that Stephen Goldsack, a Tory Councillor in North Lanarkshire, was expelled from the party due to Islamophobic remarks and links to the BNP.
And in the month of April alone, eighteen Conservative councillors were suspended for some form of racism or abuse.
Furtherore, the former Tory Minister Baroness Warsi recently told Good Morning Britain about the abuse she received as a Muslim woman by fellow Conservatives, saying that there were “”there are almost now weekly occurrences of Islamophobic incidents and rhetoric” within the party.
And it is now clear that the same racist sentiments are also being displayed by the highest echelons of the party, as just yesterday Ms Warsi also revealed that she was labelled a ‘P*ki’ during Conservative Party meetings.
It would take a remarkably brave, or deeply irrational, individual to dismiss the Conservative’s clear problem with Islamophobia.
However, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the party has taken such a negligent view towards blatant abuse espoused by their own members, Councillors and MPs themselves. The Tories’ ideology is built around discrimination based on race, class, gender – you name it – in order to divide and rule.
A party founded on these despicable principles is bound to not only attract, but promote these sort of individuals to positions where the ideology of inequality and subjugation can be maintained as the status quo.
Let us hope then, perhaps, that the mainstream media will finally hold the Tory party to account over its rampant bigotry problem – but don’t hold your breath.