'He speaks for MILLIONS!' Richard Tice vehemently defends Lee Anderson as suspension sparks 'SURGE' in Reform support

'He speaks for MILLIONS!' Richard Tice vehemently defends Lee Anderson as suspension sparks 'SURGE' in Reform support

WATCH: Lee Anderson issues new statement

Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke

Published: 26/02/2024

- 12:31

Updated: 26/02/2024

- 13:33

The Reform UK leader claimed the Government and the Mayor of London 'have lost control of our streets'

Richard Tice has vehemently defended Lee Anderson, claiming his suspension from the Tory party has sparked a surge in new Reform UK members.

This came after Anderson claimed Islamists had "got control" in London and that Khan had "given away our capital city to his mates".

Tice said the former deputy chairman of the Tory party "speaks for millions", accusing the Government and London Mayor Sadiq Khan of having "lost control of our streets".

In a statement, the Reform UK leader said: "Many in the media have asked me about Lee Anderson’s comments. The truth is that Lee speaks for millions of people who are appalled by what is happening to our country.

Richard Tice

Richard Tice has vehemently defended Lee Anderson


"Between them, this gutless government and the Mayor of London appear to have lost control of our streets. The projecting of a vile antisemitic slogan on our Houses of Parliament last week is a shocking illustration of the breakdown of law and order.

"In his role as London’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Sadiq Khan is responsible for London’s security. Along with Sir Mark Rowley, he has totally failed in that capacity. Week in week out, he and the police have allowed pro-Hamas, hate-filled antisemitic marches to continue.

"I first called for these ugly demonstrations to be banned on Oct 11th, having seen first-hand the awful behaviour on the first march on Oct 9th. It took place before Israel had even responded to the horrors of October 7th.

"Fast forward to today and – thanks to woefully weak leadership on the part of our authorities - extreme Islamists are creating a sense of fear and intimidation in our capital. With every failure to crack down on their behaviour, they become emboldened."

He added: "The Jewish community is scared; Londoners are scared; MPs are scared; the Speaker is scared. Even the police appear too scared to do what they are supposed to maintain the peace in our capital: arrest those who demonstrably break the law.

"Lee Anderson may have been clumsy in his precise choice of words, but his sentiments are supported by millions of British citizens, including myself. Never has Westminster and the craven left-leaning Establishment been so out of touch with ordinary people. I do not and will not give a running commentary on any discussions I have with any MPs, but those MPs have my number.”

Writing on Twitter, he issued a personal message for Rishi Sunak, saying: "Dear Rishi, Our support and member numbers are growing even more after your firing of [Lee Anderson]."

Tice added: "You are doing a fine job for [Reform UK], keep going."

Over the weekend, London Mayor Sadiq Khan accused Anderson of making "Islamophobic, racist and anti-Islam" remarks.

He accused the MP of "pouring fuel on the fire of anti-Muslim hatred".


This morning, Anderson doubled down on his remarks, accusing the Mayor of London of overseeing "double standards for political benefit" in the way that pro-Palestinian marches are policed in London.

In a statement, he drew attention to a slew of pro-Palestinian marches in London after the Oct 7 attacks on Israel by Hamas. He said: "I made some comments yesterday that some people thought were divisive. Politics is divisive and I am just incredibly frustrated about the abject failures of the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

"Khan called for an immediate ceasefire weeks ago with no conditions while the hostages are still there being held at gunpoint by a terrorist organisation.

"Hundreds of people had been arrested for racist abuse on these marches and we barely hear a peep from the mayor. If these marches were about something less fashionable Sadiq Khan would have been the first to call for them to be cancelled. It's double standards for political benefit."

Anderson's statement was drawn up on Saturday, hours after he claimed that Islamists had "got control" in London. But it was not released because Anderson refused a request from Chief Whip Simon Hart to apologise to Khan, a decision which led to his suspension as a Tory MP.

Writing in the Evening Standard, the London Mayor accused Rishi Sunak of failing to call out Islamophobia.

He said: "More than two days on from Lee Anderson’s vile racist, anti-Muslim and Islamophobic remarks, we have yet to hear the Prime Minister call it what it is: Islamophobic, anti-Muslim hate and racist.

"Remarkably, Rishi Sunak released a statement yesterday on hatred in politics, but failed to mention anti-Muslim sentiment at all. Then his deputy, Oliver Dowden, repeatedly refused to accept that Anderson’s remarks were racist, anti-Muslim or Islamophobic. This speaks volumes."

He added: "It shouldn’t be hard to call out comments that are so unambiguously ignorant, prejudiced and racist. Yet those at the top of the Conservative Government are stubbornly refusing to do so.

"It’s a tacit endorsement of anti-Muslim hatred and can only lead to the conclusion that anti-Muslim bigotry and racism are not taken seriously. Racism is racism and should always be called out, whichever minority it is targeted against. There can be no hierarchy."
Speaking this morning, Sunak denied the Tory party has a problem with Islamophobia, but condemned Anderson's comments as "wrong" and "not acceptable".

Asked if the Tory Party has "Islamophobic tendencies" this morning, the Prime Minister said: "No, of course it doesn't and I think it's incumbent on all of us, especially those elected to Parliament, not to inflame our debates in a way that's harmful to others.

"Lee's comments weren't acceptable, they were wrong and that's why he's had the whip suspended."

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