MP to quit following backlash over ‘no-go areas in Tower Hamlets’ claim

Conservative MP Paul Scully Pic: X Paul Scully MP

Former Conservative minister Paul Scully has said he will not stand as MP for Sutton and Cheam at the General Election saying the party has “lost focus’

Scully, MP for the area since 2015, apologised last week for comments suggesting there were “no-go” areas in Tower Hamlets and Birmingham. He was widely criticised for comments from all sides of the political spectrum.

He announced on X: “I won’t be contesting the next General Election. Over the last nine years it’s been a privilege to represent in Parliament, the area which I called home for 35 years.”

Mr Scully is now the sixth conservative MP to announce they’re stepping down ahead of the General Election. 

His comments about Tower Hamlets followed fellow Tory MP Lee Andersons’ accusing Sadiq Khan being controlled by ‘islamists’ which led to him having the Tory whip taken away.

Mr Scully began his BBC interview condemning Andersons’ comments calling them “really inflammatory” and “wrong headed” but claimed he could see what he was “trying to drive at”. He continued on to say areas in Tower Hamlets and Birmingham are “no-go areas”. In another interview, the Tory MP suggested some locals are “fearful of going out”. 

“There are areas where there are a tiny minority of people who make people uncomfortable about not being of their religion, of their culture, who are misinterpreting their own doctrine. That’s not to say Tower Hamlets itself is a no-go area.” 

He added: “If I’ve spoken mistakenly or created division then I apologise, but there are a handful of people who will always seek offence”.

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