A CONSERVATIVE election candidate is facing calls to stand down for blaming immigrants for bringing germs and HIV to the UK.
Anthony Browne, a Conservative candidate for South Cambridgeshire, also accused Muslims of having divided loyalties.
In an article on The Spectator website, dated January 2003, Browne, a former adviser to prime minister Boris Johnson, wrote: “It is not through letting in terrorists that the government’s policy of mass migration – especially from the third world – will claim the most lives.
“It is through letting in too many germs.”
He continued: “From exotic cuisines to driving entrepreneurialism, Third World immigration brings many good things to this country. But it also brings the epidemics that blight poorer countries: HIV infection, tuberculosis and hepatitis.”
Browne previously said the comments were made during a time when he was going through a “phase of being deliberately contrary and deliberately provocative.”
Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats have said the Tories should reconsider Browne’s appointment.
Naz Shah, the shadow women and equalities minister, tweeted: “This is disgusting racism. Given his personal relationship with Anthony Browne, Boris Johnson should personally intervene and remove him as a candidate immediately.”
Condemning the remarks, former Tory cabinet minister Sayeeda Warsi said: “Losing Heidi Allen for Anthony Browne perfectly illustrates where we’ve gone wrong Conservatives.”
Miqdaad Versi from the Muslim Council of Britain called the comments “truly disgusting.”
“Conservative Party candidate Anthony Browne accused Muslims of divided loyalties,” he said. “Why is such Islamophobia allowed from a candidate for the Conservative Party?”
While there have been calls for Browne to stand down as an election candidate, a Conservative Party spokesperson said that the comments were made more than 15 years ago and Browne has already apologised.