Humza Yousaf: Councillor should be expelled from Labour following Islamophobic comment

Written by Jessica Wilkins and Kate Shannon on 19 March 2018 in News

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said “only expulsion will do” after a councillor made an anti-Muslim remark about him

Humza Yousaf: Picture credit - David Anderson

Scotland’s Transport Minister has demanded a Labour councillor be expelled after he made an anti-Muslim remark.

The SNP’s Humza Yousaf said “only expulsion will do” after councillor Jim Dempster told him, “no one would have seen [Yousaf] under his burqa”.

Dempster made the remark at a meeting on Tuesday and has since written to Yousaf to apologise.

However, the Dumfries and Galloway councillor has been suspended from Scottish Labour as they deal with their third race row this year.

Yousaf said he was “still furious” about the “brazen” remarks Dempster made.

“I am angrier than I’ve ever been about abuse of this nature, and I’ve not been able to shake it off.

“It was the brazen nature of the remarks, which were made in front of my officials and members of the public.”

In his letter, Dempster offered his unreserved apologies for a “stupid and ill-judged remark” which was not “representative” of who the councillor was.

On the BBC’s Sunday Politics Scotland yesterday, Yousaf appeared alongside Labour MSP Anas Sarwar.

Both said that racism and Islamophobia are getting worse in Scotland and that they frequently received violent death threats via social media and in emails.

Sarwar said: "In wider society, it is the 'dinosaurs' who will say stupid things and crass, offensive things, but we shouldn't pretend it will be phased out with age and time."

Yousaf added: "I think 99 per cent of them are probably mouth and no trousers, but that being said if the one per cent take up that threat it is very, very serious indeed."

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