Tory MP Michael Fabricant apologises for tweeting 'Islamophobic' image of Sadiq Khan

'I would never deliberately put up a racist or Islamophobic tweet'


Tory MP Mike Fabricant has apologised for retweeting an "Islamophobic" cartoon of London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Mr Fabricant, whose late father Isaac was the rabbi of Brighton and Hove Synagogue, posted a tweet that showed Mr Khan floating over London as an inflatible pig alongside another pig, as Donald Trump laughed.

The tweet refers to the blow-up Trump Baby balloon that flew over London, with Mr Khan's approval, on Friday to protest the president's visit to the UK.

Mr Fabricant, who is MP for Lichfield, tweeted the image with the words: "Well, what can I say?"

He was condemned by fellow parliamentarians, including Labour MPs Chuka Umunna and Wes Streeting and former Tory party chair Baroness Warsi, who has previously warned about Islamophobia within the Conservative Party.

Mr Streeting wrote to the chief whip urging action over the "grossly offensive, highly inappropriate and racist" tweet.

Mr Fabricant deleted the image. On Friday, he issued an apology, saying he "accidentally tweeted a vile picture" that was sent to him by someone he thought had "good judgement".

He said he tweeted it thinking it was "a funny cartoon of a flying pig doing something to the baby Trump blimp". He said he deleted it after realising it depicted Mr Khan.

"I find it all particularly galling as everyone knows I am socially liberal Conservative," he said.

"I would never deliberately put up racist or Islamophobic tweet to offend people. It's not my style nor do I think that way. I really apologise to people I offended by my lack of attention."

Mr Fabricant previously had to apologise for joking about punching a journalist.

He was sacked as vice-chairman of the party in 2014 for criticising the HS2 rail project and making online comments about colleague Maria Miller.

Mr Fabricant was criticised in 2007 after he described an election defeat as being like "a holocaust".

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