The Tories have expelled their senior MP over "Islamophobic" remarks

Britain's ruling Conservatives have expelled their former deputy leader from the parliamentary party. The reason is that he refused to apologize for saying that the Labor mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was controlled by Islamists.

Pressure was mounting on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Tories to take action following controversial remarks by MP Lee Anderson, which were widely condemned as racist and Islamophobic, AFP reported.

It comes at a time of a sharp rise in Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in the UK amid heightened polarization since the start of the Gaza war in October last year.

On right-wing channel GB News, Anderson said "Islamists" had "established control" of Khan, who is the first Muslim mayor of a western capital since he was first elected in London in 2016.

"He's basically turned our capital over to his friends," Anderson added.

His remarks drew criticism from across the political spectrum.

Conservative business minister Nous Ghani, senior MP Sajid Javid and Tory MP Gavin Barwell were among the Conservatives to condemn the comments, with Barwell calling them a "vile insult".

The Muslim Council of Great Britain said they were "disgusting" and extremist./BGNES