Teeside MP Ian Swales has been stonewalling all requests for comment after a string of shocking remarks by a Liberal Democrat colleague led to a race row. Now we know why.
Swales, who represents Redcar, has appeared on campaign literature proudly supporting the by-election candidate who Scrapbook last week exposed for a series of vile Islamophobic comments on Facebook — spreading false smears about the Muslim community and suggesting a topless bar called “you Mecca me hot” should be built opposite a mosque.
Since Stones’ comments came to light, MP Swales has held an advice surgery, asked a question on the floor of the Commons and posted to his own Facebook page but has refused to address residents’ concerns with his colleague’s views on Muslims.
In contrast with his stony silence over developments in Redcar, the MP seemingly found it much easier to sign an EDM condemning racism in football:
“That this House recognises the excellent work of the anti-racist charity Show Racism the Red Card … with the aim of harnessing the high-profile status of professional footballers as anti-racist role models to combat racism …”
When it comes to his own back yard, however, brave Swales is nowhere to be seen.
Is this the Liberal Democrats’ “zero tolerance” policy on racism in action?