Tory MP Paul Scully apologises for 'no-go areas' comment but blasts 'we can't have reasonable discourse'

Tory MP Paul Scully apologises for 'no-go areas' comment but blasts 'we can't have reasonable discourse'

WATCH NOW: Paul Scully apologies for using 'no-go' term to describe Birmingham and London areas

GB News
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 27/02/2024

- 16:34

Updated: 27/02/2024

- 16:54

Paul Scully has said he 'regrets' using the term to describe areas in London and Birmingham

Conservative MP Paul Scully has apologised for his comments on "no-go areas" in Britain

The Tory former government minister sparked a fresh row over Islamophobia in the Conservative Party when he made reference to parts of the capital and Birmingham with high Muslim populations.

In an interview with BBC London, Scully spoke about claims of Islamophobia in the Tory Party, amid Lee Anderson's row with London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

He said: "If you look at parts of Tower Hamlets, for example, where there are no-go areas, parts of Birmingham Sparkhill, where there are no-go areas, mainly because of doctrine, mainly because of people using, abusing in many ways, their religion to… because it is not the doctrine of Islam, to espouse what some of these people are saying.

Paul Scully

Paul Scully says he 'regrets' using the term 'no-go' areas

GB News

"That, I think, is the concern that needs to be addressed."

Asked whether the Prime Minister agreed that there are “no-go” areas in Birmingham, his official spokesman said: "No, and the PM has talked before about the value of the very diverse communities and societies that we have in the UK."

Speaking to GB News, Scully told host Martin Daubney that he "wants to have the substantial discussions" and get on the "substantive debate" surrounding the issue.

Comparing his comments and the backlash to Lee Anderson, Scully noted there was a "clear dog whistle" with his language, by claiming that Sadiq Khan had "given London away" to his "Islamist mates".

Martin Daubney

Martin Daubney questioned Paul Scully on his comments

GB News

Reflecting on his comments, Scully admitted that he "didn't use the right language" when discussing the "no-go areas" of London and Birmingham.

He stressed that it was the "direct opposite" of what he was trying to say.


Scully told GB News: "There are areas around every city in the country, frankly, which people are worried about going to, whether it's often based around gangs or a handful of of idiots, that are threatening or intimidating.

"What I said today, I hope is going to actually pull us back into a sensible debate. I hope that I hear from Susan Hall over the next few weeks more about community based policing rather than always saying that London is not safe, because that doesn't send a message out to global London, to investors and tourists, that are coming into London as well."

He continued: "I regret using the word no-go areas. I can walk around a lot of London without fear and and enjoy what this greatest city in the world has to offer."

Lee Anderson

Lee Anderson sparked an Islamophobia row with London Mayor Sadiq Khan


Martin Daubney grilled Scully as he questioned him on "what on earth he was thinking" in calling the areas "no-go areas", to which Scully explained: "I was trying to make the point that we can't have reasonable discourse because we're giving vacuum to be filled by populists.

"I've apologised for the use of that phrase because as I say it was inappropriate. It was done off the top of my head at five past seven in the morning. Shouldn't have done it.

"What I meant to say was that there are areas in the country including in Tower Hamlets, including Birmingham, where people are worried about going into."

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