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    Deputy Prime Minister: I share Anderson's concerns about the threat of violence to politicians

    Oliver Dowden said Mr Anderson would have kept his job if he had apologised. Photo: BBC

    Oliver Dowden, the deputy prime minister, said he agreed “more broadly” with Lee Anderson over concerns about the threat of violence against politicians.

    Mr Anderson, former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, was stripped of his Tory whip on Saturday after he said Islamists had “taken control” of Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London.

    The Ashfield MP responded to a Telegraph article by Suella Braverman, a former minister Internal Affairs, in which she wrote that “Islamists, the country is ruled by extremists and anti-Semites.”

    Her comments came after Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons speaker, sparked anger over the Gaza ceasefire vote by allowing a vote on Labour's amendment, leading some to accuse him of caving in to extremists.

    Speaking to GB News on Friday, Mr Anderson said: “I don't actually believe these Islamists control our country, but I do believe they control Khan. they control London.

    “He effectively gave our capital to his comrades… If you let Labor in through the back door, expect more, expect our cities to be taken over by these madmen.”

    The comments drew widespread condemnation, with the Labor Party accusing Mr Anderson of “horrendous racism and Islamophobia”.

    Lee Anderson said: “I don’t actually believe these Islamists control our country, but what I I believe they control Khan. Credit: Typhoon Salchi/Avalon

    Mr Dowden said it was “appropriate” to take the whip away from Mr Anderson, but he raised concerns “more broadly” about threats of violence against politicians.

    He told the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg: “I think what Lee Anderson has expressed more broadly in his interviews and others have expressed is a deep concern – which I share, by the way – about how what policies were pursued and what happened over the past week.

    “I never thought that in my life as a politician I would see a situation where what happens in the House of Commons would be subject to the threat of violence and that would cause huge anger and frustration, it is deeply un-British and rightly so. that we have to cause it.”

    Mr Dowden added: “I don't believe Lee Anderson intended to be Islamophobic but nevertheless I understand the concern, perhaps particularly in relation to the Mayor of London, about how these words caused the offence.

    “That's why he was given the opportunity to apologize and when he didn't, action was taken.”

    He said Mr Anderson would have been able to keep the whip and to remain in the Conservative Party if he apologized.

    Meanwhile, the Labor Party has also called on Liz Truss to remove the whip this weekend, following the former Prime Minister. The minister appeared alongside Steve Bannon in the US and called Tommy Robinson, the far-right activist, a “hero”.

    Mr Bannon, Donald Trump's former chief White House strategist, attended along with Ms Truss in an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland.

    Liz Truss should have “called out” Steve Bannon's comments, Oliver Dowden said Photo: Michael Brochstein/Shutterstock

    Mr Dowden said Ms Truss should have “called out” Mr Bannon's comments and that he would have did did it in her place.

    “I would say that when there are cameras pointed at you and there's a big discussion going on, sometimes you don't catch every word that someone says – but Liz needs to explain why she didn't call about it. at this time,” he said. “I would certainly speak up if I were in that situation and heard it properly.”

    Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labor Party, accused Rishi Sunak of harboring “extremists in his party” after both Mr Anderson's comments and Ms Truss's appearance in the media.

    He told the Observer: “It is true that Lee Anderson has lost the whip after this appalling racist and Islamophobic outburst. But what does this say about the Prime Minister's decision to appoint Lee Anderson as deputy leader of his party?

    “Whether it's Liz Truss remaining silent on Tommy Robinson, or Suella Braverman's extreme rhetoric, Rishi Sunak's weakness means Tory MPs can act with impunity.

    “Rishi Sunak needs to get a grip and fight the extremists in his party. The Tories may be increasingly desperate as the election approaches, but Rishi Sunak has a responsibility to stop the slide into ever more toxic rhetoric.”

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