Tories reinstate councillor who made Islamophobic posts

PUBLISHED: 15:17 22 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:17 22 November 2019

David Abbott is listed on Houghton Regis Town Council as a Conservative after being suspended from the party for Islamophobic Facebook comments. Pictures: Houghton Regis Town Council/Conservatives

David Abbott is listed on Houghton Regis Town Council as a Conservative after being suspended from the party for Islamophobic Facebook comments. Pictures: Houghton Regis Town Council/Conservatives

Houghton Regis Town Council/Conservatives

A Conservative councillor who was suspended from the party for "offensive and divisive" social media posts about Muslims has been reinstated.

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David Abbott, who serves on Houghton Regis Town Council, was suspended by his party for Islamophobic comments in April but appears to have been reinstated despite "little evidence of contrition".

In one Facebook post, Abbott wrote: "Moslems are commanded to do everything in their power, including killing, to rid the world of every person who does not follow Islam."

In another post he spread the common Islamophobic trope of a 'Muslim takeover' by writing: "The philosophy seems to be 'breed for Islam', thus the percentage of the population who follow the 'religion of peace' will significantly increase".

READ: Brexit Party stands by candidate who shared warnings of Muslim 'takeover'

The comments were posted to an unofficial Jacob Rees-Mogg fan group on Facebook, and were found by Twitter account @MatesJacob, which is dedicated to rooting out bigotry in political candidates.

David Abbott is listed on Houghton Regis Town Council as a Conservative after being suspended from the party for Islamophobic Facebook comments. Pictures: Houghton Regis Town Council/ConservativesDavid Abbott is listed on Houghton Regis Town Council as a Conservative after being suspended from the party for Islamophobic Facebook comments. Pictures: Houghton Regis Town Council/Conservatives

The councillor, who had become a Conservative for the May local elections, was suspended by the party but appears to have been reinstated.

He is listed on the town council website as a Conservative and a council spokesperson confirmed he is currently an acting councillor.

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The Muslim Council of Great Britain have said they were not convinced Abbott had demonstrated regret over his comments.

A spokesperson for the MCGB told the Metro: "David Abbott's comments were offensive and divisive under any circumstance.

"We have seen little evidence of contrition. By readmitting him into the fold, the Conservatives are effectively condoning his views."

The Conservatives have come under fire in recent weeks after watering down a commitment made in the summer by all leadership candidates to conduct an independent inquiry into Islamophobia in the party. 
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi has criticised the party's decision to instead conduct an internal review of general "prejudice".

MORE: Matt Hancock accused of 'whitesplaining' Islamophobia by Baroness Warsi

The MCGB called for a thorough and independent inquiry.

"The Conservative's longstanding affiliation with Islamophobia is severely problematic for British Muslims, particularly at election time," said a spokesperson.

"The Conservative Party must not reinstate David Abbott's membership, and must launch a standalone, independent inquiry into Islamophobia which it is so deeply plagued with."

The New European has contacted the Conservatives for comment.

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