Humza Yousaf calls for Labour councillor Jim Dempster to resign over Islamophobic comment

Humza Yousaf calls for Labour councillor Jim Dempster to resign over Islamophobic comment

Humza Yousaf says Jim Dempster has no option but to resign

Friday, March 16, 2018

Scottish Transport Secretary Humza Yousaf is calling on a Labour councillor to resign after he made an Islamophobic comment about the MSP.

Dumfries and Galloway councillor Jim Dempster has been suspended from the party pending an investigation after making the remark about Yousaf.

Dempster reportedly said that if Yousaf had visited the region, "he may have been at Springholm but no-one would have seen him under his burka."

He made the comments in a meeting with Transport Scotland officials.

Yousaf said he felt "insulted and deeply shocked" at the remark and is now calling for Dempster to quit.

He told BBC Good Morning Scotland: "For this kind of slur which is so brazen, not something which simply slips off the tongue, to make that kind of Islamophobic slur from a senior elected councillor in front of my transport officials, so knowing that it would easily come back to me, and in front of members of the public I should say as well, just goes to show how far we've got to go and just how emboldened some feel about making Islamophobic remarks.

"Councillor Dempster, who I understand now admits making these remarks, has no option but to resign."

Yousaf said he had received an apology from Dempster but does not accept it.

He said: "If it is completely inexcusable then the only logical conclusion for him is to of course resign, there's no excuse for it.

"You don't need diversity training to know not to say to a Muslim you are hiding under a burka."

A Scottish Labour spokesman said: "James Dempster has been suspended pending an investigation by the Scottish Labour Party. The party has a zero tolerance policy towards racism."