RISHI Sunak has said that MP Lee Anderson’s remarks that sparked an Islamophobia row “weren’t acceptable”.

Speaking to the BBC on Monday morning, he said the comments were “wrong” as he denied his party has Islamophobic tendencies.

Former Tory deputy chairman Lee Anderson lost the Conservative whip after failing to apologise for claiming “Islamists” had “got control” of London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

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The Prime Minister came in for criticism over the weekend for failing to comment publicly on the suspension.

Anderson will now sit as an independent unless he defects to another party, after he accepted the PM and chief whip Simon Hart had been put in a “difficult position” with “no option” but to take disciplinary action.

Sunak said the comments were “wrong” particularly as “tensions are running high in the country”, as he said his priority was “to take the heat out of this situation”.

However, he insisted there were no Islamophobic tendencies in his party and said it is “incumbent” on politicians not to inflame tensions.

Prior to Sunak’s comments, deputy PM Oliver Dowden (below) said he disagreed with the language used, but did not believe Anderson had been “intending” to be Islamophobic.

The National: Cabinet Meeting

The suspension comes amid a wider row about language used by a number of senior Tories, including former home secretary Suella Braverman and former PM Liz Truss – who recently claimed her efforts to cut taxes were “sabotaged” by “the deep state”.

She also remained silent during an interview with Steve Bannon in which he hailed far-right figure Tommy Robinson a “hero”.

Elsewhere, Humza Yousaf was among those to call out Braverman as the “worst of politicians” after she claimed Islamist extremists are now controlling the UK in a column for The Daily Telegraph.

She said Britain is “sleepwalking into a ghettoised society” and said that “the Islamists, the extremists, and the antisemites are in charge now”.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Council of Britain has said the Tories must launch an investigation into “structural Islamophobia” within its ranks.

Tory MP complaints

However, Sky News’ deputy political editor Sam Coates has reported that not everybody is happy with Anderson’s suspension.

He said he had seen leaked WhatsApp messages from the “109 group” which is made up of Tories elected for the first time in 2019.

Coates reports that Tory MP for Hartlepool Jill Mortimer shared a message saying her constituents claimed, “they would not vote Tory again”.

“Lee Anderson’s suspension is the final nail in the party’s coffin,” she added.

The MP for Darlington, Peter Gibson reported that his inbox was full of “positive” messages for Anderson.

A spokesperson for the Tory party said: “An investigation into and subsequent independent review, both conducted over several years by Professor Swaran Singh, found no evidence of institutional racism in the Conservative Party.”