MP Michael Fabricant apologises after sharing 'racist' Sadiq Khan tweet

Mr Khan, who is a Muslim, gave the go ahead for a controversial 20ft blimp of the US President as a crying baby wearing a nappy to fly near Parliament during Mr Trump's visit to the UK.

Fabricant said he found it "particularly galling as I am a socially liberal Conservative".

Apologising via a statement on Twitter, Fabricant said: "Because I was distracted in a meeting and saw it on a tiny iPhone screen, I didn't spot what it really was".

The tweet, which has since been deleted, showed an image of Khan mounted by a pig.

'I am genuinely sorry if it caused anyone offence and I am disappointed in the person who sent it to me in the first place'.

In June, he told ConservativeHome that the party would work with TellMAMA, which monitors anti-Muslim activity, to help tackle a problem that has seen countless members suspended for offensive comments. This followed on from my remarks on TV about the hypocrisy of the anti-Trump demos and the ridiculous blimp.

'The question is how much damage we will do to our reputation in the meantime as we drag our feet'.

'I'm sick of the Mayor's religion being used as a punchline and punchbag by racists and bigots, ' he said.

After coming under increasing pressure to take action on the toxic issue within the party, Lewis, the Tory chairman, vowed to "stamp out" Islamophobia. 'MPs should know better'.

Mr Fabricant insisted it had bee tweeted accidentally, saying he had removed it within minutes and that he would apologise to Sadiq Khan.

Owen Jones, the left-wing journalist and campaigner, added: "Absolutely vile racism from this Tory MP and if the Tories are even going to pretend they take racism seriously, they must suspend him immediately".

Separately, Channel 4's FactCheck has asked Fabricant why he apparently had the flag of apartheid South Africa on the mantelpiece of his office.

He added: "They are just flags from some of the countries where my company had clients back in the 1980s". Tory members, the former chair of the party @SayeedaWarsi, and the @MuslimCouncil have all called for an inquiry into Islamaphobia (sic).

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