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Burka slur councillor's mosque visit branded 'tokenistic'

SNP minister Humza Yousaf rejected his apology and called the visit 'an insult'.

By STV News

Published 20 Mar 2018.

Transport minister Humza Yousaf has branded a Labour councillor's planned visit to a mosque a "tokenistic" photo opportunity after he made an Islamophobic slur.

Jim Dempster, who is a councillor in Dumfries and Galloway, told Yousaf's civil servants during a meeting about local road issues that "no one would have seen (Yousaf) under his burka" if he visited the region.

Scottish Labour have suspended Dempster whilst it investigates the incident.

Yousaf has rejected an apology issued by the councillor and tweeted that he had received "correspondence to suggest that Cllr Dempster's Islamophobic slur was not a one-off".

Dempster said: "I fully accept that my comments were totally unacceptable.

"I am deeply sorry for the offence I have caused and I offered a full and immediate apology.

"I do not believe that the comments I made reflect the actions or views that I have held during my service to my community."

Yousaf tweeted: "After making such a blatant Islamophobic slur, a tokenistic photo-op at the local Mosque is frankly an insult.

"Cllr Dempster's priority seems to be to try and save his political career. I once again call on him to do the honourable thing and resign."

The minister said he would pass on new details regarding the councillor and called on Labour to expel the politician.