One of Britain's most prestigious newspaper has come under fire for a blatantly racist cartoon. The paper on Sunday published a cartoon that depicts Conservative Party MP and UK Home Secretary Priti Patel along with Prime Minister Boris Johnson as bulls, with horns and rings through their noses. The cartoon was sketched by popular cartoonist Steve Bell.
Ironically the 'racist' cartoon was published when the world celebrated International Women's Day. Priti Patel is an Indian-origin British politician and is the first ethnic minority woman to hold the office of the second most powerful cabinet post after the PM.
The cartoon was immediately called out for its 'racist' attack on the leader, given that she follows the Hindu faith where bulls are revered. Former Chancellor and senior Conservative leader Sajid Javid called the cartoon "Incredibly offensive". Politics lecturer Adrian Hilton wondered why the newspaper's editor-in-chief Katharine Viner did not consider this cartoon to be "an expression of religious/racial hate". An opposition Labour Party MP also slammed the cartoon.
Good grief, I hadn't seen this derogatory caricature of a 'sacred cow', lampooning Priti Patel's Indian/Hindu heritage. Why does @KathViner @guardian not consider this to be an expression of religious/racial 'hate'? https://t.co/haM68t5pRQ— Adrian Hilton (@Adrian_Hilton) March 7, 2020
This cartoon is offensive on every level.— British Tamil Conservatives (@BTConservatives) March 8, 2020
- Its anti-Hindu. It portrays the Home Secretary, of Hindu origin as a cow. A sacred symbol for Hindus.
- Its racist and
It’s plainly unacceptable! It may constitute a hate crime. @guardian @patel4witham pic.twitter.com/jxmQMBygyi
The cartoon by Steve Bell refers to the bullying allegations against Priti Patel and her defence by PM Johnson. According to a UK-based news agency, a Cabinet Office inquiry into allegations Patel broke the ministerial code is underway. Among the claims are that a senior official at the Department for International Development had reported a ‘tsunami’ of allegations of abuse by officials in Patel’s private office when she was secretary of state.
Those allegations came after a former aide at the Department for Work and Pensions was reported to have received a £25,000 payout from the Government, has said she was bullied by Patel when she was an employment minister.
(With agency inputs)