Tory MP Michel Fabricant accused of Islamophobia over Sadiq Khan tweet

Michael Fabricant and Sadiq Khan Image copyright Getty Images

A Tory MP has been accused of Islamophobia over a now-deleted tweet he posted about Sadiq Khan.

Michael Fabricant posted a cartoon showing the Mayor of London's head on an inflatable balloon, engaged in a sex act with a pig.

Mr Fabricant has apologised, saying he "stupidly tweeted it in a meeting without checking it properly".

Sadiq Khan is a Muslim, and eating pork is a sin in Islam. Pork has previously been used in Islamophobic attacks.

Warning: This article links to images you may find offensive.

Lichfield MP Mr Fabricant said: "Because I was distracted in a meeting and saw it on a tiny iPhone screen, I didn't spot what it really was.

"I would never deliberately put up a racist or Islamophobic tweet to offend people."

Former Conservative Party chairman Baroness Sayeeda Warsi responded, describing Islamophobia in the Tory party as "widespread".

She recently called for an inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.

Following Mr Fabricant's tweet, Baroness Warsi said that inquiry was "only a question of time".

She was the UK's first female Muslim cabinet minister.

Some Labour MPs called for Mr Fabricant's suspension.

The 68-year-old has caused anger with his tweets previously, and had to apologise in one instance after saying he would punch a female journalist "in the throat" if he was ever on a talk show with her.

You might also recognise him from an appearance on Channel 4's Celebrity First Dates.

The balloon in the cartoon he posted references the giant blimp being flown over London in protest of Donald Trump's visit to the UK.

Mr Trump has been a regular critic of London's Labour mayor, most recently in an interview with The Sun.

The president said Mr Khan had done "a terrible job" in response to last year's terror attacks in the capital.

The Mayor of London was the person who gave permission for the giant blimp of Donald Trump to fly during his visit to the UK.

He's previously accused Mr Trump of holding "ignorant" views of Islam.

Labour MP Wes Streeting said he'd raised the tweet with the Conservatives, adding: "I'm sick of the mayor's religion being used as a punchline and punchbag by racists and bigots. MPs should know better."

Newsbeat has contacted the Conservative Party for comment.

Follow Newsbeat on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 every weekday on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra - if you miss us you can listen back here.

More on this story