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Carol Vorderman mocks Lee Anderson as ’30p Lee’ after he was suspended for refusing to apologise over ‘Islamophobic’ comments about Sadiq Khan – as she and others wonder if he’ll quit Tories to join Reform Party


Carol Vorderman has taken potshots at Lee Anderson on social media after the former deputy Tory chairman was suspended from the party for refusing to apologise over ‘Islamophobic comments’ he made about Sadiq Khan.

The former Countdown and BBC radio presenter hit out at Anderson as ’30p Lee’ – named after his controversial comments suggesting people in poverty should be able to make meals costing that much – on X, formerly Twitter, on Saturday.

Anderson was put on notice after he claimed the Mayor of London, a practicing Muslim, was controlled by ‘Islamists’ and had ‘given our capital city away to his mates’ in an interview on GB News – and refused to withdraw the comments.

Vorderman, who made the jump to LBC after quitting her BBC show so she could continue sharing anti-Tory tweets, suggested online that Anderson could defect to Reform UK – something he claims to have been offered in the past by its chairman.

She wrote: ‘Lee Anderson #30pLee suspended from @Conservatives party. From Deputy Chairman To Suspended…To Reform Party by Sunday evening???’

Carol Vorderman - who quit the BBC so she could continue making negative comments about the Conservative party online - has hit out at Lee Anderson after his suspension

Carol Vorderman – who quit the BBC so she could continue making negative comments about the Conservative party online – has hit out at Lee Anderson after his suspension

Anderson was suspended from the Conservatives on Saturday after reportedly refusing to apologise for comments in which he claimed Sadiq Khan was controlled by 'Islamists'

Anderson was suspended from the Conservatives on Saturday after reportedly refusing to apologise for comments in which he claimed Sadiq Khan was controlled by ‘Islamists’

Vorderman and others, including one-time Labour runner Paul Waugh, have speculated that Anderson could defect to Reform UK

Vorderman and others, including one-time Labour runner Paul Waugh, have speculated that Anderson could defect to Reform UK

Sadiq Khan said the comments were 'Islamophobic, anti-Muslim and racist' - and came after independent reports suggested Muslim hate crime had tripled in recent months

Sadiq Khan said the comments were ‘Islamophobic, anti-Muslim and racist’ – and came after independent reports suggested Muslim hate crime had tripled in recent months

Reform UK leader Richard Tice (pictured during the party's spring conference today) said he was not interested in 'pathetic Tory squabbling' when asked about Anderson's future

Reform UK leader Richard Tice (pictured during the party’s spring conference today) said he was not interested in ‘pathetic Tory squabbling’ when asked about Anderson’s future

Former Labour councillor Mr Anderson said in the televised interview: ‘I don’t actually believe that these Islamists have got control of our country, but what I do believe is they’ve got control of Khan and they’ve got control of London and they’ve got control of Starmer as well.

‘Again, this stems with Khan, he’s actually given our capital city away to his mates.

‘Beware, because if you let Labour in through the back door, expect more of this and expect our cities to be taken over by these lunatics.’

A spokesperson for Tory chief whip Simon Hart said on Saturday the decision had been made to suspend Mr Anderson, a former Labour councillor before he defected and won the red wall seat of Ashfield in 2019, for his ‘refusal to apologise’.

His suspension has prompted speculation that Mr Anderson may finally defect to Richard Tice’s Reform UK, formerly the Brexit Party – whom he claims has sought to recruit him in the past.

Nigel Farage, who stepped down as Reform leader in 2021, told the Express today that Anderson should make the leap to the party, which made gains against the Tories in a series of recent by-elections, alarming Tory chiefs.

Mr Farage said: ‘Lee Anderson should join Reform UK.’ 

Paul Waugh, a former political journalist who vied for Labour selection in the Rochdale by-election, tweeted: ‘Lee Anderson is not the kind of guy to ever apologise. Now he is suspended, bets on him defecting to Reform?’

Mr Anderson left Labour after Jeremy Corbyn became leader, and was once secretly recorded boasting to MPs he had been ‘offered a lot of money’ to defect to Reform. The amount is reported to have been £86,000 each year over five years.

Mr Tice has previously denied that his party made any offers to Mr Anderson, accusing him of making up the claim to ‘negotiate himself the deputy chairmanship of the Tory party’ in remarks reported by The Times.

And he gave away nothing about Mr Anderson’s potential future in his party during an interview with GB News on Saturday during Reform’s spring conference. 

He said: ‘I don’t know what’s going on in the Tory party and frankly I don’t care. They’re toxic, they’re infighting, who knows what they stand for. I’m not interested in pathetic Tory squabbling.’

He later the PA news agency: ‘I haven’t been in touch with Lee, he hasn’t been in touch with me.’

Labour MP Dawn Butler, who led a cohort of MPs calling for Mr Anderson to lose the Tory whip, said: ‘Anderson refusing to apologise shows he believes every word of his hateful comments. Islamophobia has no place in our politics.’

Anderson’s remarks did him no favours among other Tories prior to his suspension – with Sajid Javid branding them ‘ridiculous’.

City Hall Tories leader Neil Garratt dismissing them out of hand, writing on X: ‘Islamists have not taken control of Sadiq Khan, and they are not running London.’

Tobias Ellwood, Conservative MP, told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme on Saturday evening he was ‘disgusted’ by Mr Anderson’s remarks.

He added: ‘I think some individuals have lost sight of what it means to be a Conservative and what has in the past allowed us to secure electoral success.

‘We’ve done well when we operate from the centre-right. When we start courting populism that means we lose; we resort to the extreme and no extreme parties ever win.

‘I’m pleased action was swiftly taken but you could argue it was almost overdue. Let’s get back to politics and not doing the Trump-esque noise which somehow seems to attract elements in our party but certainly will not appeal to Britain as a whole.’

Nigel Farage has suggested that Mr Anderson should join Reform UK - the political organisation he founded as the Brexit Party

Nigel Farage has suggested that Mr Anderson should join Reform UK – the political organisation he founded as the Brexit Party

A spokesperson for chief Tory party whip Simon Hart (pictured) said the decision had been taken to suspend Mr Anderson over his 'refusal to apologise' for the GB News remarks

A spokesperson for chief Tory party whip Simon Hart (pictured) said the decision had been taken to suspend Mr Anderson over his ‘refusal to apologise’ for the GB News remarks

Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood said he was 'disgusted' by Mr Anderson's remarks, adding: 'Conservatives are better than that'

Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood said he was ‘disgusted’ by Mr Anderson’s remarks, adding: ‘Conservatives are better than that’

Former Conservative chancellor Sir Sajid Javid branded Anderson’s remarks as ‘ridiculous’

Anderson's remarks did him no favours among other Tories prior to his suspension - with Sajid Javid branding them 'ridiculous' and City Hall Tories leader Neil Garratt dismissing them

Anderson’s remarks did him no favours among other Tories prior to his suspension – with Sajid Javid branding them ‘ridiculous’ and City Hall Tories leader Neil Garratt dismissing them

Anderson had earned a reputation as an attack dog and enforcer within the party prior to his resignation from the deputy party chair last month

Anderson had earned a reputation as an attack dog and enforcer within the party prior to his resignation from the deputy party chair last month

He had been seen as a valuable red wall ally to Rishi Sunak before he opted to rebel against the government on the Rwanda bill in January

He had been seen as a valuable red wall ally to Rishi Sunak before he opted to rebel against the government on the Rwanda bill in January

Asked if he would welcome Mr Anderson leaving, Mr Ellwood added: ‘That’s for him to decide. I’ve distanced myself from that sort of politics. Conservatives are better than that.’ 

Following his suspension, Mr Anderson told GB News he understood ‘the difficult position that I put both (the Chief Whip) and the Prime Minister in.

‘With regard to my comments, I fully accept that they had no option but to suspend the whip in these circumstances. 

‘However, I will continue to support the Government’s efforts to call out extremism in all its forms, be that anti-Semitism or Islamophobia.’

Speaking to Sky News, Mr Khan said the comments from the senior Conservative MP were ‘Islamophobic, anti-Muslim and racist’ – and pointed to a recent Tell MAMA report suggesting Islamophobic hate crimes have tripled in recent months.

He added: ‘We’ve seen over the last two days confirmation that over the last few months there had been an increase in anti-Muslim cases by more than 330%.

‘I am afraid the deafening silence from Rishi Sunak and from the cabinet is them condoning this racism.

‘I am afraid it confirms to many people across the country that there’s a hierarchy when it comes to racism.

‘I think it’s really important to call out antisemitism, it’s really important to call out misogyny, it’s really important to call out homophobia, but surely it must also be important to call out anti-Muslim hatred.

‘My concern is there will be people across the country – people who are Muslim or look like Muslims – who will be really concerned about entering into politics because they know that if these are the comments being made about me by a senior Conservative, what chance do they have?’

The Muslim Council of Britain said following Mr Anderson’s suspension: ‘While we welcome Mr Anderson’s suspension, his comments did not occur in a vacuum and is only the tip of an iceberg. 

‘We have seen a week where Conservative politicians have brazenly leaned into the “Muslims are taking over” trope. And Mr Anderson’s suspension has only taken place after widespread disgust. 

‘The Conservative Party has an Islamophobia problem. They need to own up to it.’

Comparisons have been made between Mr Anderson’s comments on GB News and remarks made by Suella Braverman in the Telegraph on Friday, in which she said ‘the Islamists, the extremists and the anti-Semites are in charge’ of the UK.

Ms Braverman was sacked as Home Secretary after writing an inflammatory article for The Times in which she suggested police were biased towards pro-Palestinian protesters; the article was not signed off by Downing Street.

A Conservative spokesperson said: ‘An investigation and subsequent independent review, both conducted over several years by professor Swaran Singh, found no evidence of institutional racism in the Conservative Party.’

Anderson’s comments on Sadiq Khan are just the latest in a long line of controversial and contentious statements he has made in the press.

He had earned a reputation as an attack dog and enforcer within the party prior to his resignation from the deputy party chair last month, previously hitting out at MPs such as Labour’s Jess Phillips for taking on additional work after she presented an episode of BBC topical panel show Have I Got News For You

Anderson later accepted a £100,000 deal to present shows on GB News while also working as an MP.

In an interview with the Spectator last August, he called for the return of the death penalty because ‘nobody has ever committed a crime after being executed‘.

He has previously accused people who use food banks of being unable to ‘cook properly’, adding: ‘We can make a meal for about 30p a day’, earning him the 30p Lee monicker.

Anderson stepped down as deputy Tory party chairman in January to rebel against Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda bill.

He ultimately abstained after he said he couldn’t bear to stand among Labour MPs also voting against it because they ‘giggled and laughed’ at him.

Vorderman, meanwhile, is more active than ever on social media with anti-Tory rants after she quit her weekly BBC Radio Wales show – vowing she would not be ‘silenced’ by corporation bosses worried about her online output.

Announcing her departure in November, Ms Vorderman said she was ‘not prepared to stop’ venting her ‘strong beliefs’ on Twitter and Instagram, adding that she did not want ‘to lose my voice’ or ‘change who I am’.



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