British Candidate Resigns Over Anti-Islamic Tweets

David Bishop, a British Tory council candidate, forced to resign after posting anti-Islamic comments on Twitter.

Elad Benari ,

Muslim women (illustrative)
Muslim women (illustrative)

A British Tory council candidate has been forced to resign from the party after posting anti-Islamic comments on Twitter, the BBC reported on Sunday.

David Bishop, a candidate in Brentwood South, Essex, apologized after retweeting messages, including one that claimed Islam was the religion of rape.

"I have let myself and my party down," Bishop said in a statement quoted by the BBC.

The statement comes after a UKIP council candidate, who tweeted that Islam was "evil", was suspended from the party.

One retweeted message on April 27, two days after Bishop was named as a Conservative council candidate, cited the arrest of four Muslim men over the rape of a 14-year-old girl and added: "#Islam 'the religion of peace' & rape."

According to the Al Arabiya network, another message posted by Bishop included the sentence, “It’s good to be anti-Islam.”

Bishop apologized in the statement "for the real offence caused" and said he would "not be asking anyone to vote for me on May 22".

"I recognize that someone standing for public office should show leadership and seek to unite communities, not divide them. I hope the residents of Brentwood South can forgive my lack of judgment in time," he said, according to the BBC.

The resignation comes as UKIP council candidate, Harry Perry, who was seeking election in the Offerton ward in Stockport, was suspended by the party on Friday after tweeting that Islam was "evil", the network reported.

Just last week, a British Conservative member of parliament resigned ahead of a damning report on his behavior, which included saying that an Israeli female soldier "looks like a bloody Jew.”

The report by the Commons standards committee concluded that the MP, Patrick Mercer, had committed one of the worst ever breaches of parliamentary lobbying rules, after finding he used his position for paid advocacy, claimed a fellow MP was a "crook of the first order" and made the offensive remarks about the female IDF soldier.

The Guardian reported that Mercer stepped down as an MP Tuesday and triggered a byelection in his Newark seat, just ahead of the report that would have recommended his suspension from parliament for six months.

Last week, Gerrard Batten, a controversial British Member of the European Parliament, renewed his calls for Muslims in the UK to sign up to a special "code of conduct", which would include rejecting aspects of the Koran which advocate "violent physical Jihad".

In November, former British Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke called for Muslim face veils worn by women to be banned in courts.

Clarke said in an interview that women should not be allowed to wear a veil while giving evidence in court, explaining that his comments "had no trace of Islamophobia" but adding it was important for the court to be able to see a witness's body language.

"It's almost impossible to have a proper trial if one of the persons [is] in a kind of bag," he said.