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Activist hired by Sadiq Khan to review London’s statues is branded ‘racist’ over blog posts

A left-wing activist who was appointed by Sadiq Khan to review London‘s statues has been accused of racism over disparaging comments about prominent black figures including Diane Abbott and David Lammy.

Toyin Agbetu, who was appointed to the Mayor of London’s Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm, accused Ms Abbott of being ‘disloyal to her own community’ and called Mr Lammy a ‘poor example of Africans’.

The activist’s comments in an online blog have led Shaun Bailey, the Conservative Mayor of London candidate, to urge Mr Khan to remove him for his ‘racist past’, The Telegraph reported.

Toyin Agbetu who was appointed by Sadiq Khan to review London’s statues has been accused of racism

The Mayor faced criticism of his commission which he set up to review statues after historians claimed it excluded conservative viewpoints

The Mayor faced criticism of his commission which he set up to review statues after historians claimed it excluded conservative viewpoints

The activist's comments in an online blog have led Shaun Bailey, the Conservative Mayor of London candidate, to urge Mr Khan to remove him for his 'racist past'

The activist’s comments in an online blog have led Shaun Bailey, the Conservative Mayor of London candidate, to urge Mr Khan to remove him for his ‘racist past’

Mr Khan had hired Mr Agbetu, 53, in the wake of last year’s Black Lives Matter movement which led to criticism over the capital’s statues which celebrate figures with colonial links.

The Mayor faced criticism of his commission which he set up to review the statues after historians claimed it excluded conservative viewpoints.

Mr Agbetu wrote in a blog post about Abbott’s decision to run for Labour leadership in 2010 that she had been ‘disloyal to her own community and, worst yet, with minimal coercion, willingly betrayed herself’ by getting involved in frontline politics.

He added Labour should not be ‘elevating a woman who – to be frank – the African community is embarrassed about’.

Mr Agbetu accused Diane Abbott of being 'disloyal to her own community' in an online blog post

Mr Agbetu accused Diane Abbott of being ‘disloyal to her own community’ in an online blog post

Shaun Bailey published an open letter in which he accused Mr Agbetu of spreading 'deeply dangerous information'

Shaun Bailey published an open letter in which he accused Mr Agbetu of spreading ‘deeply dangerous information’

The activist also published harsh criticism of Mr Lammy, Baroness Scotland and Baroness Amos.

Baroness Scotland is the Secretary General of the Commonwealth and former attorney general under Gordon Brown, while Baroness Amos served as British High Commissioner to Australia.

Mr Agbetu wrote: ‘Lammy, Amos and Scotland are all poor examples of Africans whose quest for influence and status has dwarfed their duty to human rights, social justice for African people and opposition to imperialism.’

The activist was previously known for his 2007 outburst in front of the Queen in 2007, when he shouted ‘you should be ashamed’ during a service at Westminster Abbey.

He also attracted criticism for expressing scepticism about the Pfizer vaccine, saying: ‘We are being encouraged to relax our compliance with these relaxed restrictions because apparently a magical vaccine is around the corner from the Viagra specialists.’

The activist also published harsh criticism of David Lammy who he said was a 'poor example of Africans'

The activist also published harsh criticism of David Lammy who he said was a ‘poor example of Africans’

Agbetu (pictured) was slammed last week for expressing scepticism about the Pfizer jab's ability to deal with the spread of coronavirus

Agbetu (pictured) was slammed last week for expressing scepticism about the Pfizer jab’s ability to deal with the spread of coronavirus

In a video recorded in November, he claimed the Pfizer jab was ‘ethically unsound’ because of a ‘profit over people Government’. 

He does not suggest the vaccine is ineffective, but claimed too little was known about it for such an optimistic roll out. 

Shaun Bailey penned a letter to Mr Khan asking for Mr Agbetu to be removed from his commission.

He said: ‘When he’s not comparing British people to Nazis, Agbetu is casting doubt on the safety of Pfizer’s vaccine.

‘For the safety of Londoners and the communities that you and I come from, you must remove Agbetu from his post and publicly denounce his lies.’

Mr Bailey said this week he vows to scrap Mr Khan’s diversity commission if he is elected.

In a post alongside the video he labelled the Pfizer coronavirus jab a 'magical vaccine from the Viagra specialists'

 In a post alongside the video he labelled the Pfizer coronavirus jab a ‘magical vaccine from the Viagra specialists’

Toyin Agbetu (pictured when he stormed to the front of Westminster Abbey during a service attended by the Queen in 2007), 53, was recently appointed a member of Sadiq Khan's new diversity commission

Toyin Agbetu (pictured when he stormed to the front of Westminster Abbey during a service attended by the Queen in 2007), 53, was recently appointed a member of Sadiq Khan’s new diversity commission

He also highlighted how Agbetu once called the Metropolitan Police ‘institutionally racist’ and branded the army a ‘paid militancy’ in an article written for his human rights agency Ligali.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: ‘Sadiq makes absolutely no apologies for acting to ensure our public realm reflects the amazing wealth of diversity of our city and our history. 

‘We have a basic moral duty to ask questions about whether it’s right for people like slave owners to be disproportionately represented in the public realm.

‘City Hall carried out an open and transparent recruitment process in order to form an inclusive and representative board of the Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm. 

‘All panel members were assessed for the role by a review panel and a decision made based on what they could bring to the role. 

‘Toyin Agbetu was appointed for his significant expertise, knowledge and experience as a social rights activist and in setting up Ligali, which challenges the misrepresentation of African people and culture in the media. His vast experience will provide a valuable contribution to the Commission.’

Mr Agbetu, Ms Abbott and Mr Lammy have been contacted for comment. 


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