Susan Hall stays silent about Lee Anderson attack on Sadiq Khan

Susan Hall stays silent about Lee Anderson attack on Sadiq Khan

Conservative mayoral candidate Susan Hall has failed to join politicians from her own party in speaking out against false claims by a Tory MP that Islamists have “got control” of Sadiq Khan and also “got control of London” because Khan “has given our capital city away to his mates”.

Lee Anderson, who represents the Ashfield constituency in Nottinghamshire, made the remarks on the radical right-wing television channel GB News during a discussion about a newspaper article by former Home Secretary Suellla Braverman in which she claimed that “Islamist extremists are in charge of Britain”.

Neil Garratt, one of Hall’s fellow Conservative members of the London Assembly (AMs) and current leader of the Tory group, wrote on X/Twitter that Khan “is not an Islamist, he is not in the pockets of Islamists, and I completely disagree with anyone who says otherwise”.

Though expressing concern that pro-Palestine marches “fuel antisemitism” resulting in many Jews no longer feeling “welcome in their own city”, Garratt added: “Islamists have not taken control of Sadiq Khan, and they are not running London.”

Garratt’s Tory AM colleague Nick Rogers also condemned the MP’s inflammatory allegation, telling On London: “I completely disagree with Lee Anderson’s comments”.

On London contacted Hall directly and approached her campaign yesterday evening asking if she agreed with Anderson, but although his GB News remarks had quickly received coverage by large national media organisations, more than 12 hours later no response has been received.

An unnamed “Tory source” was quoted in the Evening Standard saying “Susan doesn’t agree with what was said,” but Hall herself has made no public comment.

Another Tory AM replied to On London: “As I no longer subscribe to your biased rag (sic) I’ll probably not see it – and you know me well enough to answer those questions yourself”.

It was unclear if the reply was intended for publication. Comments made to journalists are considered to be on the record unless the person making them says otherwise, but in this instance On London has chosen to give the AM anonymity.

At time of publication, six of the nine Tory AMs, including Hall, had not replied to On London‘s request for comment or made any public statement about Anderson’s remarks [see update below].

Minister for London Greg Hands, the MP for Chelsea & Fulham, has also been invited to respond to Anderson’s false claims, which last night prompted Labour to call for the MP to lose the Tory whip.

Conservative former minister for London and ex-Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell called Anderson’s words “a despicable slur on Sadiq Khan and Londoners”, adding that Rishi Sunak’s pledge to unite the country would be “revealed as sham” if he allowed “the likes of Anderson to spread hate and division”.

Khan receives close police protection due to the number of threats to his personal safety he receives. An anonymous government source is reported to have said Anderson was simply criticising Khan over his approach to pro-Palestine marches in London. However, Khan has no powers to ban marches. This can only be done by the Home Secretary after a request by the Metropolitan Police commissioner.

Hall, herself a frequent guest on GB News, drew criticism last October for saying at the Conservatives’ annual conference that some Jewish people were “frightened” by Mayor Khan, claiming he had a “divisive attitude”. The Board of Deputies of British Jews responded by praising Khan as someone who treated them “with friendship and respect”. Hall later claimed on GB News that she had been talking about policing and declined an invitation by Sky News to apologise for what she had said.

She has also declined to apologise for past social media activity which includes encouraging Donald Trump to “wipe the smile off the face” of Khan, endorsing far-right agitator Katie Hopkins insulting Khan and what she called “Khan’s Londonistan” – a pejorative term used to imply that the capital is controlled by Muslims – and endorsing comments praising Enoch Powell, saying these things hadn’t been mentioned to her while out campaigning.

In November 2022 Hall wrote on X/Twitter (pictured) that “very many agree” with Anderson that Britain should “send illegal immigrants straight back the same” after the MP advocated such a policy.

Update: 25 February, 2024. Since this article was published, Tony Devenish AM has been in touch to say he completely supports the suspension of Lee Anderson from the Conservative Party, which took place on 24 February 2024

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