A Tory donor is said to have claimed “Sharia law is de facto law” in parts of England, in comments on immigration branded “unacceptable” by the party.
Businessman Maurizio Bragagni described London as “worse than any African metropolis” in an online article for the Italian news website Saturno Notizie, according to a BBC translation.
Dr Bragagni gave his views on immigration and integration in England in a piece published in his native Italian last month, which has since been taken down.
He told the PA news agency: “I have never knowingly offended anyone. I apologise that my article originally written in Italian caused unnecessary controversy, when translated.”
A Tory spokesperson said the party was “unaware of this recent article” and “in no way whatsoever” condones “these unacceptable comments”.
We were unaware of this recent article and in no way whatsoever condone these unacceptable comments Conservative Party spokesperson
But the Labour Party chairwoman, Anneliese Dodds, said it is “not enough for the Conservatives to condemn these disgraceful remarks”.
“They need to explain why they’re holding onto so much money from someone who disparages this country in such an appalling way,” she said.
Dr Bragagni is cited in the BBC report as saying London is a “reduced” city “worse than any African metropolis”, with “rising criminality and daily disruption on the Tube, chaotic traffic, sprawling confusion”.
He is said to have criticised the Labour Party in his piece, claiming it had an “anti Judeo-Christian identity, which allows Islamic groups to feel at home, where they can find free space for their true political ideology”.
“A subsidy state which supports large families, which gives houses to migrants who are themselves the majority, in short destroys western capitalism and individual freedom,” he added, according to the translation.
“The line between the Christian English majority rural areas and the foreign Muslim-run urban areas is becoming more marked. There are places in which Sharia law is de facto law. The English integration system has run aground.
“Why? After Brexit, migrants who continue to arrive in the UK are illegal migrants from Africa, European influxes have stopped.
“When these two influxes (European and non-European) used to be consistent, they allowed for a balance of diversity which made locals tolerant and therefore traditions weren’t at risk.”
There are places in which Sharia law is de facto law. The English integration system has run aground Maurizio Bragagni (BBC translation)
The CEO and author was appointed to an advisory group to the Department for International Trade (DIT) on British manufactured and consumer goods in 2020.
He has donated to the Tory Party on numerous occasions, and was made an OBE for services to business and voluntary political service in 2021.