Tory council candidate quits party over Islamophobia row
A Tory council candidate has stepped down from the party after it was revealed that he had previously been suspended for making Islamophobic remarks.
PoliticsHome revealed that Peter Lamb was disciplined by his local Conservative association after a series of comments he made on social media about Muslims came to light.
In 2015, Mr Lamb tweeted: “Islam like alchoholism. The first step to recovery is admit you have a problem.”
In a further post the same year, he said: “Turkey buys oil from ISIS. Muslims sticking together.”
He added: “Do they want us to call ISIS Daesh now so that we don’t associate them with Islam?”
After serving his suspension, Mr Lamb - who also stood for the Tories in a council by-election in 2017 - was again selected as a candidate for the local elections in May.
Baroness Warsi, a former co-chair of the Conservatives, claimed the case was evidence of “institutional” Islamophobia within the party.
As pressure grew on the party to remove him as a candidate, Mr Lamb announced that he was quitting the Conservatives.
He tweeted: “I deeply regret my remarks on social media. At no point did I intend to cause any offence to the Muslim community. I have reflected on my comments and decided that I should step down as a local election candidate and resign the Conservative party with immediate effect.”
Harlow Conservative Association, whose chairman admitted yesterday that he had given Mr Lamb a “slap on the wrist” over the remarks, added: “Anti-Islamic sentiments have no place in any political party. Pere Lamb has now resigned.”
Baroness Warsi tweeted: “So Peter Lamb finally quits the Conservatives and yet the Party continued to support him and felt him an appropriate candidate to represent us in Harlaw. And that is why the problem is not just individuals it’s institutional.”
A Conservative spokesperson said: “Mr. Lamb was investigated and suspended by his local association back in 2017. He has subsequently resigned from the Party.
“Discrimination or abuse of any kind is wrong and will not be tolerated. When CCHQ have been made aware of cases we have acted swiftly and decisively, suspending or expelling those involved and launching an immediate investigation under our party’s code of conduct."