Tory MP apologises for tweet of Sadiq Khan image with pig balloon

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Conservative MP Michael Fabricant is courting controversy on Twitter after a picture surfaced of him and an apartheid-era South African flag in his office.

The tweet, quickly deleted by Fabricant, referred to the "Trump baby" protest balloon being flown over Westminster, which Khan authorised and the Lichfield MP has criticised.

Fabricant said he found it "particularly galling as I am a socially liberal Conservative".

He has since said: "I did not see the detail on my small iPhone".

Lady Sayeeda Warsi, a Conservatives former chair, said Fabricant's actions showed the extent of Islamophobia within the party.

The MP subsequently deleted the image, claiming he had not realised the image was about Khan.

"I am genuinely sorry if it caused anyone offence". This followed on from my remarks on TV about the hypocrisy of the anti-Trump demos and the ridiculous blimp.

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'There will be an inquiry - it's only a question of time, ' she said.

In response, Labour MP Wes Streeting wrote to Conservative whips, saying "A$3 failure to act over the case of Michael Fabricant MP will only serve to underline concerns expressed by a growing number of individuals and organisations that the Conservative Party has a problem with recognising and tackling Islamophobia within it's ranks".

After coming under increasing pressure to take action on the toxic issue within the party, Lewis, the Tory chairman, vowed to "stamp out" Islamophobia.

Owen Jones, the left-wing journalist and campaigner, added: "Absolutely vile racism from this Tory MP and if the Tories are even going to pretend they take racism seriously, they must suspend him immediately". "He may be a useless Mayor, but he's a nice guy whom I worked with when he was in Parliament".

Trump supporter Mr Fabricant shared the tweet, commenting: "Well, what can I say".

He added: "They are just flags from some of the countries where my company had clients back in the 1980s".

The Channel 4 News fact checking account tweeted at the MP: "Hi Mike Fabricant, what is this flag on your mantelpiece?"

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