- Conservative MP Michael Fabricant has been accused of Islamophobia after tweeting a crude photoshopped image of Sadiq Khan.
- It depicted the London mayor, who is a Muslim, as a giant balloon having sex with a giant balloon pig.
- Labour MPs are now calling for Fabricant’s suspension from the Conservative Party.
- The politician claims he didn’t see Khan’s face in the image.
Conservative MP Michael Fabricant has been accused of Islamophobia and racism after he tweeted a photoshopped picture of a balloon version of London mayor Sadiq Khan having sex with a balloon pig over the Houses of Parliament as Donald Trump laughs.
The US president is visiting Britain this week, and has is being met with widespread protests – including a giant protest balloon near Parliament depicting him as an orange baby clutching a smartphone. Khan, who has a long-running spat with Trump, granted the balloon’s creators permission to fly it, despite the objections of some Trump supporters.
Fabricant’s tweet, sent Thursday night, had a caption on the image: “BREAKING NEWS: TRUMP DEFEATS SADIQ KHAN IN BALLOON WARS,” and the MP added the note: “Well, what can I say.”
Sadiq Khan is Muslim, and the tweet prompted immediate accusations of Islamophobia. Azfal Khan MP, Labour’s shadow immigration minister, called for Fabricant to be suspended from the Conservative Party.
“The Tories have ignored countless calls for an inquiry into Islamophobia in their party from their own members, the former chair of their party and the Muslim Council of Britain,” he said in a statement. “Clearly there’s a problem, and if Brandon Lewis’s respect pledge meant anything, Michael Fabricant would be suspended immediately.”
Labour MP Stephen Doughty tweeted: “This is disgusting, racist stuff @Mike_Fabricant – you should be ashamed of yourself.”
This is disgusting, racist stuff @Mike_Fabricant – you should be ashamed of yourself.
— Stephen Doughty (@SDoughtyMP) July 12, 2018
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.”
— Owen Jones???? (@OwenJones84) July 12, 2018
Fabricant subsequently deleted the tweet, and claims he didn’t see Sadiq Khan’s face in the image before sharing it. “I deleted it as soon as I saw Sadiq Khan’s face on the picture,” he said in a tweet. I did not see it was him. He may be a useless Mayor, but he’s a nice guy whom I worked with when he was in Parliament.”
.I deleted it as soon as I saw Sadiq Khan’s face on the picture. I did not see it was him. He may be a useless Mayor, but he’s a nice guy whom I worked with when he was in Parliament.
— Michael Fabricant (@Mike_Fabricant) July 12, 2018
The MP’s office did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.