Updated March 3rd, 2024 at 12:29 IST

Minorities Humiliated for Political Gains: London Mayor Sadiq Khan Slams UK PM Rishi Sunak

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan slammed the UK PM Rishi Sunak for failing to address comments made by Lee Anderson during his Downing Street Speech.

Reported by: Bhagyasree Sengupta
UK PM Rishi Sunak and London Mayor Sadiq Khan | Image:AP / X
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London – The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan slammed the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Rishi Sunak on Saturday for not addressing the “racist, anti-Muslim and Islamophobic” remarks by a senior Tory MP, during his passionate Downing Street address. The London Mayor also accused the British premier of indulging in a "concerted attempt" to "humiliate minorities for political gain". Khan's assertion came a day after Sunak made an impromptu address in Downing Street in which he accused “extremists” of ‘tearing apart’ the country. The British Prime Minister took the lectern outside Number 10 after the victory of George Galloway in the Rochdale by-election. 

“A week on from the racist, anti-Muslim and Islamophobic remarks made by a senior Tory member of parliament, and the complete failure of Rishi Sunak even as he stood outside Number 10, or anyone around him to condemn them for what they are, it's important to say a few words about the level of debate in public life,” the London Mayor said while speaking to delegates at London Labour Conference, Sky News reported. “What we're witnessing is a concerted and growing attempt by some to degrade and humiliate minorities for political and electoral gain,” he added. The Former Tory vice-chair Lee Anderson received major flak after he said that “Islamists” had “got control” of Khan in London. Khan went on to ask Sunak to not share his worst fears.  “As the poison of antisemitism and the poison of Islamophobia continues to infect our politics, now, more than ever, we need to display our best values rather than our worst fears,” insisting that diversity is London's “biggest strength". 

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What did Sunak Say? 

In an impromptu address outside Number 10, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that the extremist groups that are operating in the United Kingdom are “trying to tear the country apart". The proclamation from the British premier came in a hastily arranged press briefing that came hours after George Galloway won a byelection in Rochdale. While addressing the media, the Prime Minister condemned what he called a “shocking rise” in extremist disruption in the UK after the devastating October 7 massacre in Israel that eventually prompted the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. 

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“Don’t let the extremists hijack your marches,” he said, directly addressing those who had taken part in the series of huge protests that engulfed the nation since October. “Don’t let the extremists hijack your marches,” he said, directly addressing those who had taken part in the series of huge protests across the UK," he added. Sunak went on to urge people to show their dissent in a peaceful manner. “You have a chance in the coming weeks to show that you can protest decently, peacefully and with empathy for your fellow citizens. Let us prove these extremists wrong and show them that even when we disagree, we will never be disunited," he said.  “The British people will take no lessons from a prime minister and Conservative party who have sowed the seeds of division for years," the British premier furthered.  

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Published March 3rd, 2024 at 12:29 IST