Andy Burnham Condemns Government’s Double Standards on Racism

credit: theguardian

London (Parliament Politics Magazine) – Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham criticized Tories for failing to address Islamophobia and condemned Liz Truss for associating with Steve Bannon, highlighting double standards.

Andy Burnham ripped into government ministers for failing to condemn Ashfield MP Lee Anderson’s remarks about Sadiq Khan this weekend on Laura Kuenssberg’s BBC show. Peaking this morning, the Manchester Mayor went into bat for his fellow regional leader, challenging why the Tories don’t take a tough line on Islamophobia. He believes ‘double standards’ are at play, running right to the top of government.

“Tories are ambivalent to other forms of racism,” Andy Burnham said.

He also attacked Liz Truss for attending an ‘appalling gathering’ this week after she shared a podium with Steve Bannon at CPAC. Andy Burnham called the statements produced by Braverman, Anderson, and Truss ‘provocative and dangerous.’

“Rightly, the Tories take a tough line on antisemitism, like Labour have been doing. But when it comes to Islamophobia, they have ambivalence and attempt to explain it all away. There is no justification for these comments.”

“If the ‘they’ used by Anderson, Braverman was related to Jewish people, it’d be called out straight away. But there is a double standard. Tories, including former Prime Minister Liz Truss, now make provocative and dangerous statements.” Andy stated.

On the other hand, The U.K.’s governing Conservative Party has discontinued ties with Lee Anderson after he accused London Mayor Sadiq Khan of being handled by Islamists, as uncertainties over the Israel-Hamas war roil British politics.

The party stated on Saturday that Lee Anderson was suspended after he refused to apologize for remarks made about Khan in a television interview on Friday. The action suggests that Anderson, a deputy chairman of the Conservatives until last month, will sit in Parliament as an independent.

Moreover, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and other senior Conservative leaders had come under growing pressure to reject the comments, which the chairwoman of the opposition Labour Party called “unambiguously racist and Islamophobic.”

The controversy comes as the Israel-Hamas war fuels anxieties in British society. Pro-Palestinian protests in London have regularly drawn hundreds of thousands of demonstrators calling for an immediate cease-fire, even as critics describe the events as “antisemitic hate marches.” Figures released over the last week show that both anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim incidents have risen sharply since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7.

That outrage has spilled over into Parliament, where some lawmakers say they fear for their safety after receiving threats over their positions on the conflict in Gaza. In his interview with GB News, Anderson attacked the police response to pro-Palestinian demonstrations in London, leveling the blame on Khan.

Read More: Andy Burnham Pays Tribute to Sam Malik

Anderson said he didn’t “actually believe that the Islamists have got control of our country, but what I do believe is they’ve got control of Khan, and they’ve got control of London.’’ Khan flatly rejected the allegations, telling the BBC that all forms of hatred need to be left, including antisemitism, Islamophobia, and misogyny.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.