"Will this latest blatant racism elicit action?"
The Conservative Party have suspended an activist after she tweeted that Labour MP Naz Shah should “go back to Pakistan”.
The party said Theodora Dickinson was being investigated after targeting the shadow minister.
Ms Dickinson responded to a post showing Ms Shah discussing her experience of poverty and recalling childhood trips to Scarborough, saying if “Naz Shah hates this country so much why doesn’t she go back to Pakistan?!”
The Muslim Council of Britain described the Tweet as “blatant racism”.
Ms Shah responded to the Tweet:
“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.”
Ms Dickinson later apologised. She said:
“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.
“I have written to Ms Shah offering an unreserved apology.”
The Tories said that Ms Dickinson had been suspended. They have launched an independent inquiry into all forms of prejudice within the party.
A spokesperson said: “Theodora Dickinson has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation.”
Muslim Council of Britain secretary general Harun Khan said:
“Now Ms Dickinson tells a Muslim MP ‘why doesn’t she go back to Pakistan’. Will this latest blatant racism elicit action?
“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.”
Ms Dickinson responded to a speech Naz Shah made in a House of Commons debate on free school meals.
Ms Shah had accused ministers of having “no real understanding, care or emotion” about the extent of child poverty in the UK.
She spoke of her experience, being “palmed off” to social services when she was a child, separated from her family and taken on trips to Scarborough, adding “that is what poverty is”.
Ms Shah said: “It’s not a laughing matter for children to be raised in poverty and not have food.
“Because let me explain what it’s like. I’m happy to explain what it’s like to members opposite who think it’s funny.”
“What it’s like to live in poverty is when you’re palmed off as a child like I was to social services to go away to Scarborough for a week like I did.
“The only memories I have of that time are I used to go bird watching. It was awfully cold and staying in a dormitory.
“Actually, only this afternoon I rang my sister to ask her, do you remember when we used to go to Scarborough because mum used to send us there for summer holidays?
“That is what poverty is. It is not memories you want to recall as an adult, even in my mid-40s.”