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Tory candidate faces calls to stand down for racist post

27th May 2022

Elham Asaad Buaras

A Conservative council candidate in Scotland is facing growing calls to step down over “racist” comments he made online, reports The National.

Bruce Whyte, standing in the Glasgow ward of Langside for the Scottish Tories, is at the centre of a race row. This is following the resurfacing of incendiary Facebook comments posted in 2014. Whyt’s post, branded “completely unacceptable” by the Muslim Council of Scotland, had questioned official stats on the number of Pakistanis living in Pollokshields.

He wrote: ‘The total number of Pakistanis ‘registered’ in Pollokshields [sic] East and West is just over 4,000, against a total population count of 14,000! I challenge anyone to walk, ride, or drive through this area and see evidence that supports that there are as many white or black residents as Pakistanis in these areas. I wonder what the figures are for attendance at the local mosques?’

He also highlighted the growing ethnic diversity of Glasgow since 2001, noting increases in the numbers of people of African, Caribbean, Indian, and Bangladeshi heritage.

MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, Kaukab Stewart, told The Muslim News, “These abhorrent comments make clear that Bruce Whyte must not end up on a ballot paper in this election.” Stewart, the first Muslim woman and the first woman of colour elected to the Scottish Parliament, called for Douglas Ross, leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, to “answer why he was ever selected in the first place.”

Whyte’s comments demonstrated that he was “troubled” by Glasgow’s diversity, according to Jon Molyneux, who represents Pollokshields for the Scottish Greens. He said, “. Anyone troubled by Glasgow’s multiculturalism has no place representing our vibrant and diverse communities.”

Dr Muhammad Adrees, convener of the MCS, said “This certainly raises questions about his suitability to be a candidate since his post seemed designed to use skewed analysis of statistics to raise fears about the changing demography of Glasgow rather than recognise the benefits for the city of being a diverse society, including the huge contributions made to the NHS and social care by staff from minority ethnic backgrounds.”

Whyte said he was not trying to “pillorise anyone from a minority ethnic background but [to] question what the changing face of Glasgow will be in another 10 or 20 years”. The Scottish Tories strongly deny Whyte’s comments were racist. A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: “As Bruce states very clearly in this Facebook post, his ‘point is not to pillorise anyone from a minority ethnic background’.

There is nothing racist whatsoever in Bruce’s post … Bruce will be reaching out to the Muslim Council of Scotland to reassure them that he values Asian communities tremendously and fully recognises the benefits of the huge contribution of people from minority ethnic backgrounds to Glasgow and Scotland.

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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