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Police ‘assessing’ hate speech complaint against Lee Anderson | Politics News

Police are “assessing” a report of hate speech made against Lee Anderson following his claim “Islamists” had taken control of London and its mayor, Sadiq Khan, Sky News understands.

The Ashfield MP was suspended from the Conservative Party last weekend after he refused to apologise for the remarks, which have been branded as racist by Mr Khan and others.

However, while ministers – including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – have described the comments as “wrong”, they have repeatedly declined to classify them as Islamophobic.

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The Metropolitan Police do not name individuals who have not been charged with a criminal offence.

However, after it was first reported in The Sun, the force did confirm a report had been made to them regarding an allegation of hate speech from an MP.

A spokesperson said: “A report was made to police on Saturday, 24 February. Officers are assessing this report.”

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Questions remain around Mr Anderson’s future in the Commons, with some allies in the Tories demanding he is reinstated and others calling for tougher action for his comments.

He has also failed to rule out joining the rival Reform Party – set up by Nigel Farage and run by his GB News presenting colleague Richard Tice, who he is alleged to have met in an M1 hotel for talks earlier this week.

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Mr Anderson defended himself again on Wednesday in an article for the Daily Express, accusing Mr Khan of “playing the race card”, and said the mayor had only accused him of racism for “political advantage”.

But while the now independent MP has said the words he used were “clumsy”, he has still refused to apologise for them.

On Tuesday, Downing Street said Mr Sunak did not believe Mr Anderson to be racist but said “the language he used was wrong and it’s unacceptable obviously to conflate all Muslims with Islamist extremism or the extreme ideology of Islamism”.

The spokesperson also said ministers had not been instructed not to use the term “Islamophobia”, saying the terms “conflates race with religion, does not address sectarianism within Islam and may inadvertently undermine freedom of speech”.

“Anti-Muslim hatred is the more precise term which better reflects UK hate crime legislation,” they added.

Mr Anderson has been approached for comment.

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