Tories suspend activist who told British MP to ‘go back to Pakistan’

PUBLISHED: 00:04 20 June 2020 | UPDATED: 00:07 20 June 2020

Labour MP Naz Shah. Photograph: PA.

Labour MP Naz Shah. Photograph: PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

The Conservatives have suspended an activist after she tweeted that a Muslim MP born in Bradford should “go back to Pakistan”.

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The party said Theodora Dickinson was being investigated after targeting Labour shadow minister Naz Shah.

Shah tweeted: “Over the last few weeks BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) communities have been coming to terms with the racism they have faced over the years.

“In 2020 to be told to go back to Pakistan, highlights the level of racism that still exists in some quarters of society.”

Miqdaad Versi responds to a tweet by Theodora Dickinson, who referenced a post showing the Bradford West MP Naz Shah discussing her experience of poverty (Miqdaad Versi/Twitter/PA Wire)Miqdaad Versi responds to a tweet by Theodora Dickinson, who referenced a post showing the Bradford West MP Naz Shah discussing her experience of poverty (Miqdaad Versi/Twitter/PA Wire)

Dickinson, who describes herself as a political communications and social media consultant, later apologised.

“I fully recognise how offensive it was, which is why I deleted the tweet almost immediately, though of course this does not excuse posting it in the first place,” she added.

The Tories, which have launched an independent inquiry into all forms of prejudice within the party, said Dickinson had been suspended.

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“Theodora Dickinson has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation,” a party spokeswoman said.

Conservative peer Lady Warsi tweeted: “The Tory suspended this week for saying Muslim MP should go back to Pakistan was someone I raised concerns about over a year ago – I was told then she was suspended.

“This is the @Conservatives shambolic revolving door system of dealing with racism.”

Muslim Council of Britain secretary general Harun Khan accused Dickinson of having previously shared an Islamophobic conspiracy theory after the Christchurch terrorist attack.

“Now Ms Dickinson tells a Muslim MP ‘why doesn’t she go back to Pakistan’. Will this latest blatant racism elicit action?” he said.

“The party must reflect and consider why it chooses to ignore widespread concerns about its institutional Islamophobia – if a truly independent inquiry is not enacted with its recommendations implemented, there will be a drip-feed of these stories for a long time to come.”

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