Past comments on people of colour by new culture secretary Nadine Dorries cause backlash

The MP for Mid Bedfordshire has previously retweeted the former leader of the English Defence League Tommy Robinson and shared Islamophobic tropes against London mayor Sadiq Khan

The appointment of Nadine Dorries as culture secretary has prompted a backlash given her past comments about people of colour and sharing of far-right and Islamophobic tropes.

The former health minister replaced Oliver Dowden in the cabinet reshuffle carried out by Boris Johnson yesterday, leading to an immediate backlash with many on social media highlighting some of her old comments, some of which can still be found on her twitter account.

The MP for Mid Bedfordshire has previously retweeted the former leader of the English Defence League Tommy Robinson and shared Islamophobic tropes against London mayor Sadiq Khan and claimed vote rigging is ‘commonplace’ in Muslim communities.

Dorries also claimed in 2013 that then Labour shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna looked like Chris Eubank.

She tweeted: “Apparently I’m racist because I think Chuck (sic) Umunna looks like Chris Eubank? What would I be if I said he looked like someone who was white??”

Dorries has also previously been criticised for thinking ‘all brown women look the same’ after commenting on a tweet showing a clip of journalist Ash Sarkar, saying she thought it showed Labour’s “prospective candidate for Chingford”. Labour’s candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green was Faiza Shaheen.

Ash Sarkar tweeted at the time: “Me and @faizashaheen are two different women, Nadine. You don’t see me out here mixing you up with any random white lady, so please pay me the same courtesy.”

Following announcement of her appointment, David Lammy MP tweeted: “Boris Johnson

has booted out @GavinWilliamson who could not tell the difference between Maro Itoje and Marcus Rashford. To fill the role of Secretary of State for Not Recognising Black People, he has appointed  @NadineDorries. This is so depressing in 2021.”

Dorries has also been a vocal critic of the BBC, describing it last year as “strident, very left wing, often hypocritical and frequently patronising views that turn people away”.

Her appointment could also be a sign of how Boris Johnson is increasing his ‘war on woke’.  She once wrote: “Left wing snowflakes are killing comedy, tearing down historic statues, removing books from universities, dumbing down panto, removing Christ from Christmas and suppressing free speech. Sadly, it must be true, history does repeat itself. It will be music next.”

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Nadine Dorries have been contacted for comment.

Basit Mahmood is co-editor of Left Foot Forward

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