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Tory MP criticised for ‘racist’ tweet calling Israel protesters ‘primitive’

Michael Fabricant has now deleted the tweet (Picture: Getty/Twitter)

A Tory MP has deleted a tweet calling pro-Palestine protesters clashing with police ‘primitives’.

Michael Fabricant wrote: ‘These primitives are trying to bring to London what they do in the Middle East.’

The MP for Lichfield also shared a video showing the disorder outside the Israeli Embassy in London on Saturday.

He later tried to explain his comments, saying: ‘Let us be clear: Antisemitism whether expressed by Corbyn, Christians, or Muslims, is unacceptable and primitive.

‘The antisemitism spouted by Hamas and Hezbollah in the Middle East must not be repeated in the UK.

‘Attacks on the British police as shown in the video are disgraceful.’

Michael Fabricant sought to explain his comments later on

Michael Fabricant sought to explain his comments later on

But he faced a backlash for his choice of words, with Hope Not Hate calling for the Conservative Party to suspend the backbencher.

They said: ‘The tense situation requires steady leadership from people who want to bring communities together, not hateful racism that stirs up division.’

It comes after demonstrations took place across the UK over the weekend in solidarity with the people of Palestine.

They were largely peaceful, however the Metropolitan Police said nine officers were injured as they attempted to disperse crowds outside the Israeli Embassy on Saturday and 13 arrests were made.

Video from the event in London showed protesters throwing sticks and bottles at riot police holding shields as another man tried to hold them back.

Thousands of people in Gaza have been forced to flee their homes as Israeli airstrikes have killed at least 181 people, including 52 children and 31 women this week.

Israel has reported 10 dead from rockets fired into the country by Palestinian militant group Hamas, including two children, one of whom was five years old.

Director of the British Future think-tank Sunder Katwala tweeted: ‘Anybody who realises that it is racist to hold British Jews responsible for Israeli policy should also be able recognise the racism here in Michael Fabricant’s tweet.’

Mr Fabricant sought to justify the comments, saying: ‘It is primitive behaviour by people who preach anti-Semitism or racism of any kind, whether they be Jewish, Christian or Muslim.

‘And the sort of anti-Semitism displayed by Hamas in the Middle East must not be repeated here in the UK.’

Earlier today, four men were arrested after footage of antisemitic abuse and threats being shouted from convoy of cars was shared on social media.

It sparked condemnation from across the political spectrum, with Boris Johnson tweeting: ‘There is no place for antisemitism in our society’.

Michael Fabricant has faced criticism in the past for alleged racism.

In 2018, he shared a photoshopped picture showing Donald Trump laughing as a pig balloon had sex with a blimp of Sadiq Khan, who is Muslim.

He later claimed he had done this by accident, saying: ‘The picture is vile. As soon as I saw what it was, I deleted it.’

In 2018, questions were also raised as to why he had an apartheid-era South African flag on his mantelpiece.

He said: ‘It’s alongside an old soviet era USSR Hammer & Sickle flag – just out of shot.

‘They are places I went on work visits in the 1980s. I am neither a Communist nor a supporter of apartheid.’

The Conservative Party is yet to respond to a request for comment.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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