Lee Anderson’s comments against Sadiq Khan ‘weren’t acceptable, they were wrong’, says Rishi Sunak

Politics

A cabinet minister has appeared to leave the door open for Lee Anderson to regain the Tory party whip following an attack on Sadiq Khan that resulted in his suspension.

Mr Anderson was suspended at the weekend after he refused to apologise for claiming “Islamists” had got “control” over London and that Mr Khan had “given our capital city away to his mates”.

Mr Anderson’s comments prompted a backlash from across the political divide, including from Tory peer Baroness Warsi who said she was “really disturbed by where the Conservative Party has gone”.

Asked what he needs to say to be welcomed back, Transport Secretary Mark Harper told Kay Burley on Sky News: “I hope he will reflect on what he said and he will retract those comments and apologise.

“But I’m not going to tell the chief whip how to do his job, that’s for him.”

He added: “He’s contributed a lot in the past. I’d like to see him be able to contribute to the Conservative Party in the future.”

Mr Harper repeatedly declined to say whether Mr Anderson’s remarks were racist but said they were “untrue” and “wrong”.

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