Tory activist and former campaign manager tells Muslim MP to ‘go back to Pakistan’

24th Jul 2020
Tory activist and former campaign manager tells Muslim MP to ‘go back to Pakistan’

Nadine Osman

A former Conservative campaign manager has been suspended from the party after she called Labour MP Naseem ‘Naz’ Shah a “racist” and asked why she doesn’t “go back to Pakistan.”

Theodora Dickinson has now deleted the tweet that she posted on June 19 in which she shared a video showing Shah speaking about child poverty with a caption calling her ‘racist.’

Dickinson was a Conservative Party candidate in the 2019 local elections. The self-described political communication 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 said.

However, this isn’t the first time she has been accused of Islamophobia. In March 2019, the Conservative Party was accused of failing to take action against Dickinson when she posted an Islamophobic conspiracy theory video on her Twitter account after the attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, which killed 50 Muslims.

She claimed that “Islamists” in Pakistan had burned down a church in retaliation. However, the video was recorded in Egypt in 2014 and bore no relation to the atrocity in New Zealand.

The Tories, who have launched an independent inquiry into all forms of prejudice within the party, said Dickinson had been suspended. “Theodora Dickinson has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation,” a party spokeswoman told The Muslim News.

Shah, who is the MP for Bradford West, told the Evening Standard, “This kind of blatant racism will not deter me from speaking out. Quite the opposite, it just reinforces why it’s necessary to fight vile bigotry and intolerance and makes me more determined. The question for Boris Johnson is why this sort of person drawn to him and his party?”

Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Harun Khan said, “The Conservative Party’s lack of action for the last 15 months after Ms Dickinson shared an Islamophobic conspiracy theory in response to the Christchurch terrorist attack shows a serious problem with the Party.

“Now Ms Dickinson tells a Muslim MP ‘why doesn’t she go back to Pakistan?’ Will this latest blatant racism elicit action? 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.”

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