Tories suspend activist who tweeted that Bradford-born Labour shadow minister Naz Shah ‘should go back to Pakistan’
- Conservatives said Theodora Dickinson was being investigated on Friday
- She targeted Labour shadow minister and Bradford West MP Naz Shah
- Ms Dickinson, who deleted the tweet almost immediately, later apologised
The Conservatives have suspended an activist after she tweeted that a Muslim MP born in Bradford should ‘go back to Pakistan’.
The party said Theodora Dickinson was being investigated on Friday after targeting Labour shadow minister Naz Shah.
Ms Dickinson responded to a post showing the Bradford West MP discussing her experience of poverty, saying if ‘Naz Shah hates this country so much why doesn’t she go back to Pakistan?!’
The Muslim Council of Britain, which has long-criticised the Tories’ handling of Islamophobia, described the tweet as ‘blatant racism’.
The party said Theodora Dickinson (pictured) was being investigated on Friday after targeting Labour shadow minister Naz Shah
Naz Shah MP said being told ‘to go back to Pakistan’ in 2020 highlights ‘the level of racism that still exists in some quarters of society’
The Tories, which have launched an independent inquiry into all forms of prejudice within the party, said Ms Dickinson had been suspended.
Baroness Warsi, a former Conservative Party chair, said the suspension shows the Tories’ ‘shambolic revolving door system of dealing with racism’.
Ms Shah said: ‘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, who describes herself as a political communications and social media consultant, later apologised.
‘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,’ she added.
‘Theodora Dickinson has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation,’ a party spokeswoman said.
Conservative peer Lady Warsi tweeted: ‘The Tory suspended this week for saying Muslim MP should go back to Pakistan was someone I raised concerns about over a year ago – I was told then she was suspended.
‘This is the @Conservatives shambolic revolving door system of dealing with racism.’
Muslim Council of Britain secretary general Harun Khan accused Ms Dickinson of having previously shared an Islamophobic conspiracy theory after the Christchurch terrorist attack.
‘Now Ms Dickinson tells a Muslim MP ‘why doesn’t she go back to Pakistan’. Will this latest blatant racism elicit action?’ he said.
‘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.’