Report Date: Monday, November 10, 2003
David Davis supported ” racist colleague ” now he must prove he’s changed
The Conservatives new Home Affairs spokesman David Davis supported ‘racist’ former MP John Townend. Now he must prove he is no longer soft on racism – or the causes of racism.
|Davis: must prove he has changed his stance on racism|
From today Davis will be in charge of the Tories’ immigration and race policies.
Campaign group The 1990 Trust say Davis must now prove he has changed his stance on racism.
And we express hope that his promotion does not put in jeopardy the progress on inclusiveness made under Iain Duncan Smith and Oliver Letwin.
In 2001 Davis claimed he would not have expelled Townend from the party after the former Yorkshire East MP made comments which were widely condemned as racist.
Townend lavished praise on ‘rivers of blood’ extremist Enoch Powell, and claimed Britain was ‘sinking’ under the weight of immigrants. Townend also called Britain a ‘mongrel race.’
Davis, at the launch of his 2001 leadership bid, was asked whether he would have kicked-out Townend from the party if he had been leader. Davis replied: “No, I wouldn’t have expelled him.”
Reacting to news of Davis’ promotion, Karen Chouhan, director of The 1990 Trust, said: “David Davis was soft on racism when it came to John Townend’s appalling remarks.
“Davis said if he was leader he would have stood by Townend and failed to condemn Townend’s remarks, which is simply not good enough.
“Now he is Home Affairs spokesman, Davis needs to actively demonstrate that he rejects Townend’s views – particularly on immigration.
“We need to have confidence that what he has said in the past is no reflection on what he would do if the Conservatives were elected into office.
“We also hope that Davis’ promotion does not put in jeopardy the gains made on inclusiveness under Iain Duncan Smith and former home affairs spokesman Oliver Letwin.
“Under IDS we saw the selection of Adam Afriyie as candidate for Windsor, and real dialogue with Britain’s black and minority ethnic communities. We want to see that process continue under Michael Howard and Davis.
“And we hope that the new Conservative leadership does not mark a right-ward shift on immigration policy.”