A HARD-left activist appointed by Sadiq Khan to review London’s statues has been branded a “racist” over derogatory comments he made about black MPs.
Toyin Agbetu was signed up by Mayor of London to join his Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm – but is already facing calls to be sacked after the racial remarks were uncovered, including labelling David Lammy a “poor example of Africans”
Toyin Agbetu, pictured confronting the Queen in 2007, has been signed up to Sadiq Khan’s diversity commissionCredit: Getty Images
Sadiq Khan is facing pressure to remove Mr Agbetu from his new postCredit: Getty Images – Getty
The 53-year-old is due to be a key figure in Labour’s plan to remove statues and road names of historical figures connected to the slave trade in the wake of last year’s Black Lives Matter campaign.
Now, Shaun Bailey – the Conservative candidate for Mayor of London – has urged Mr Khan to remove Mr Agbetu from his new post.
It comes after the left-wing crusader attacked prominent black figures online, reports the Telegraph.
In a blog post condemning Diane Abbott’s decision to run for Labour leadership in 2010, Mr Agbetu accused her of being “disloyal to her own community and, worst yet, with minimal coercion, willingly betrayed herself” by engaging in frontline politics.
He also wrote that the party should not be “elevating a woman who – to be frank – the African community is embarrassed about”.
Mr Agbetu also hit out at shadow justice secretary David Lammy, the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Baroness Scotland, and Baroness Amos, the former British High Commissioner to Australia.
He 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.”
Shaun Bailey today tweeted an open letter to Mr Khan, alledging: “Toyin Agbetu is a vocal vaccine sceptic who has spread dangerous fake news online.
Mayor hopeful Shaun Bailey has called for Toyin Agbetu to be sacked from the statue commissionCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Mr Bailey today tweeted an open letter to the Mayor of LondonCredit: Twitter
“He’s a racist and he’s compared the British people to Nazis. I’ve no idea why @SadiqKhan hired him to join his statue commission. But he needs to sack him. Today.”
In his letter, Mr Bailey added: “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.”
A spokesman for the Mayor of London said: “Toyin Agbetu was appointed for his significant expertise, knowledge and experience.”
It comes after Mr Agbetu faced backlash for expressing scepticism about the Pfizer vaccine.
Mr Agbetu posted a video alongside a message that read: “Apparently a magical vaccine is around the corner from the Viagra specialists.
“There’s a lot of nonsense out there and it’s coming from the clowns in No 10.
Mr Agbetu took aim at MP Diane Abbott in his blog postCredit: PA:Press Association
Agbetu also made comments about Tottenham MP David LammyCredit: David Lammy Twitter
“As a scientific breakthrough yes it looks promising but using it now, when there are so many questions unanswered because of a ‘profit over people’ government that wants to privatise speed over safety and effectiveness is ethically unsound.”
Agbetu famously confronted the Queen in 2007 at Westminster Abbey during a service to mark the abolition of slavery.
More recently, he has been pivotal in the campaign to remove a monument to slave trader Sir Robert Geffrye outside the Museum of the Home, in Hackney, East London.
The museum consulted with the public after the Black Lives Matter protests and decided to keep the statue.
It is now reviewing that choice after the statue’s hands were daubed with red paint and protests were held by Stand Up To Racism Hackney.
Agbetu has featured in a video of a protest posted Momentum Hackney’s Facebook group clutching a megaphone.
He can be heard yelling “The passage of time, doesn’t wipe out the crime” and “Geffrye must fall”.
There are currently 130 Labour-led councils reviewing statues and road names.
Other statues under threat include a monument to former prime minister and founder of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Robert Peel, in Manchester.