Zac Goldsmith (C), Conservative Party candidate for London mayor, speaks as then London Mayor Boris Johnson (L) and British Prime Minister David Cameron (R) look on at an event for Goldsmith’s mayoral campaign in Richmond, southwest London, on May 3, 2016. (AFP photo)
British Prime Minister David Cameron is under fire over Zac Goldsmith’s London mayoral campaign, after the leader of Muslim Conservatives denounced it as a “disgusting” attempt to smear Sadiq Khan – the Labour Party’s winning candidate.
Mohammed Amin, chair of the Conservative Muslim Forum, said the Tories’ campaign, which centered on casting Sadiq Khan as an extremist, had “imperiled” Cameron’s efforts to refurbish the Tory brand among Muslims.
In a scathing article on the Conservative Home website, Amin wrote the “risible” campaign had “probably increased our risks of suffering terrorism.”
“I was disgusted (I considered milder words, but decided to be frank) with the tone of his campaign and his repeated and risible attempts to smear Sadiq Khan,” he said of Goldsmith – the Conservative Party’s candidate.
Khan was sworn in as London’s first Muslim mayor on Saturday after a fierce battle with Goldsmith. “I’m so proud that London has today chosen hope over fear and unity over division,” he said.
Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of London (AFP photo)
Cameron himself had joined in with Goldsmith to link Khan to alleged extremists and terror sympathizers.
One such alleged “sympathizer” was Suliman Gani, a British Muslim cleric, who was accused by Cameron of being a Daesh (ISIL) supporter.
Cameron also accused Khan of sharing platforms with Gani, who is an imam in Tooting, the constituency in South London where Khan is an MP.
“I’ve spent my entire life fighting extremism and radicalization, encouraging minority communities to get involved in mainstream politics
and civic society and I’ve managed to do that,” Khan told Sky News
The new mayor has promised to “put London first” and move on from the divisive campaign of his rival, which he said has discouraged British Muslims from getting involved in politics.