Labour Member of Parliament for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland
Constituency Office: 6-8 Wilson Street, Guisborough, TS14 6NAPhone: 01287 610878Email: email@example.com – Web: www.tomblenkinsop.com
Tom Blenkinsop MP
Harry Tout House6-8 Wilson StreetGuisboroughCleveland TS14 6NAThe Rt Hon Nick Clegg MPHouse of CommonsLondonSW1A 0AA9 January 2011CC: Ms Rokhsana Fiaz OBE, Executive Director, Coexistence Trust; Mr Farooq Murad,Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain; Mr Tim Farron MP, President of theLiberal Democrats; Mr Issan Ghazni, Chair, Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats.Dear Mr Clegg,I am writing to you to express my concern over the conduct and views expressed byDave Stones, the Liberal Democrat candidate in the Newcomen ward by-election inRedcar & Cleveland, and those of his agent, Councillor Chris Abbott.The
blog reported on Thursday 5 January that Mr Stones hadposted several Islamophobic Facebook statuses. Mr Stones suggested that a
“topless bar called ‘You Mecca Me Hot’…and…a pork rib restaurant” should bebuilt “across the street” from a mosque
“then we’ll see who’stolerant
”. Furthermore, Mr Stones posted a status saying that “the Royal BritishLegion are not selling poppies in certain areas of the UK on 11
Nov this year. This isbecause some minorities say that it will upset them. I say f***off!”. According to theRoyal British Legion, this claim is “categorically not true”, and such smears couldcause tension in Redcar & Cleveland communities.Mr Stones made the conscious decision to make these offensive, Islamophobic posts.His agent, Cllr Abbott, appears to attempt to excuse these disgusting actions bysaying the statements had just “been doing the rounds”.
This is no excuse.
MrStones chose to repost them, and even encouraged others to do the same.The response of the local Liberal Democrat party to Mr Stones’ comments are alsoconcerning.