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Fri, 4 December 2020

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Tory activist suspended for tweeting that Labour MP Naz Shah should ‘go back to Pakistan’

Tory activist suspended for tweeting that Labour MP Naz Shah should ‘go back to Pakistan’

A Tory activist tweeted that Labour MP Naz Shah should 'go back to Pakistan' (PA)

2 min read

A Conservative party activist has been suspended by the party after reportedly tweeting that a Labour MP should “go back to Pakistan”.

The Evening Standard revealed that Theodora Dickinson posted the comment about a video of Naz Shah speaking on child poverty in the House of Commons.

In a now-deleted post, she wrote: “If racist Naz Shah hates this country so much why doesn’t she go back to Pakistan?!”

A former campaign manager who also worked for Vote Leave, Ms Dickinson, who has pictures of herself with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his predecessor Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on her social media accounts, stood for election as a Tory councillor last year.

Ms Shah, who was born and raised in Bradford where she has been an MP since 2015, told the Standard: "This kind of blatant racism will not deter me from speaking out.

“Quite the opposite, it just reinforces why it's necessary to fight vile bigotry and intolerance and makes me more determined.

“The question for Boris Johnson is, why is this sort of person drawn to him and his party?”

A Conservative Party spokesman said: “Theodora Dickinson has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation.”

The Tories had already been criticised for failing to take action against the activist after she shared an Islamophobic conspiracy theory following the Christchurch terror attacks last year.

In response the Muslim Council of Britain said: “Now Ms Dickinson tells a Muslim MP: ‘Why doesn’t she go back to Pakistan?’ Will this latest blatant racism elicit action?

“The party must reflect and consider why it chooses to ignore widespread concerns about its institutional Islamophobia – if a truly independent inquiry is not enacted with its recommendations implemented, there will be a drip-feed of these stories for a long time to come.”

Ms Dickinson later apologised on Twitter, posting: "I am very sorry for my comments earlier today. I fully recognise how offensive it was, which is why I deleted the tweet almost immediately, though of course this does not excuse posting it in the first place.

"I have written to Ms Shah offering an unreserved apology."

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