Dec 29, 2019

More than 5,000 members of anti-Islam group join U.K.'s Conservative Party

Members of Britain First extremist group

Supporters of Britain First take part in the March Against Terrorism on April 01, 2017 in London. Photo: Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Im / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

More than 5,000 of the 7,500 members of the openly anti-Islam extremist group Britain First have joined the U.K.'s Conservative Party in the wake of Boris Johnson's landslide election victory this month, The Guardian reports.

The big picture: Johnson has faced criticism for his past writings comparing veiled Muslim women to "letterboxes" and "bank robbers," and was pressured during a leadership debate in June to agree to an independent investigation into widespread Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.

  • Johnson has apologized for the "hurt and offense" caused by Islamophobia within his party, but said the independent inquiry would be focused on "every manner of prejudice and discrimination" rather than anti-Muslim bigotry in particular.
  • A spokesperson for Britain First, whose leaders were convicted last year for hate crimes against Muslims, said its members felt motivated to join the Conservatives due to the party's apparent willingness to take a "firm stance" against radical Islam."

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