Rod Liddle defends ‘light-hearted’ Muslim comments

A number of Labour MPs condemned the column

Friday, November 1, 2019

Rod Liddle has defended a "joke" he made about excluding Muslims and students from the upcoming general election.

The journalist came under fire for a column he wrote for the Spectator, in which he said: "My own choice of election date would be a day when universities are closed and Muslims are forbidden to do anything on pain of hell, or something.”

He also recommended drugging students with horse tranquiliser to lower the number of votes for Labour.

MPs have accused him of "racism" and "Islamophobia".

Chancellor Sajid Javid, who is Muslim, said Mr Liddle's words were "not funny and not acceptable".

Mr Liddle said the comments were 'satirical'

Labour MP David Lammy said the comments were "hate speech" and "bile", while his colleague Liam Byrne MP said the “disgusting suggestion to disenfranchise Muslim voters” was the “epitome of Islamophobia”.

Labour's Jess Phillips branded Mr Liddle a “vicious, racist misogynist” in response to another line in the article in which Mr Liddle referenced “the sobbing and oppressed Rosie ‘#MeToo’ Duffield”.

Last month Ms Duffield, the Labour MP for Canterbury, addressed MPs with a speech about surviving domestic abuse.

Mr Liddle responded and said his article contained “no hate speech or Islamophobia whatsoever”.

“It was a very light-hearted series of suggestions about when to hold an election," he said.

"They were very obviously ludicrous suggestions, satirical in manner, about how to reduce the Labour vote by targeting groups which traditionally vote Labour. It was patently a joke."

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