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Boris Johnson backed a Conservative candidate who claimed that immigrants are a bigger threat than terrorists

Adam Bienkov , Business Insider US
 Nov 13, 2019, 02:15 PM
Anthony Browne
World Finance Videos / YouTube
  • Boris Johnson is under pressure to remove a candidate who wrote that immigration was a greater threat to life in the UK than terrorism.
  • Anthony Browne claimed that germs carried by immigrants would bring "death to our lands."
  • He wrote that immigration had created "ongoing and sustained racial violence."
  • An anti-immigration publication written by Browne was available in the far-right British National Party bookshop.
  • Browne has been endorsed by Johnson and several senior members of the UK government.
  • Go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za for more stories.

Boris Johnson has backed a Conservative candidate who claimed that immigrants are a greater threat to life than terrorism and warned that immigration risks "utter devastation" for the United Kingdom.

Anthony Browne was a former policy advisor to the prime minister when he was Mayor of London and is standing in South Cambridgeshire in the general election on December 12.

In 2003, he wrote that immigration would bring greater "death to our lands" than terrorists because of the illnesses they carry into the UK.

"We live in fear of foreigners bringing death to our own land," he wrote in a piece published by The Spectator while Johnson was its editor.

"[But] it is not through letting in terrorists that the government's policy of mass immigration - especially from the Third World - will claim the most lives. It is through letting in too many germs."

He added that "the thousands of infected immigrants who are arriving in Britain each year are doubling the rate of HIV, trebling the rate of TB, and increasing twenty fold the rate of hepatitis B."

Johnson hired Browne as a policy advisor during his time as mayor of London and appeared on the campaign trail alongside him last month.

Boris Johnson and Anthony Browne
Twitter

Browne's appointment at City Hall was controversial due to a 2002 publication written by Browne in which he said that multiculturalism risked "utter devastation and ruinous conflict" in the UK.

"All too many countries have been destroyed by their diversity," Browne wrote in an excerpt devoted to arguing that the UK would be better off as a mono-cultural country.

"Try and tell the people of Northern Ireland that the mono-religion of the Republic to the South is a weakness, and their diversity of having Catholics and Protestants is a strength," he wrote.

"Try and tell the Hutus and Tutsis of Rwanda that diversity is strength, or the Muslims and Hindus who are massacring each other in Gujarat, or the Jews and Palestinians in Israel, or the perpetually warring ethnic groups in Afghanistan, or the inhabitants in former Yugoslavia, which has ripped itself apart in a succession of ethnic-based conflicts.

"It is all too clear that while diversity may be strength in some abstract sense, it can also be the recipe for utter devastation and ruinous conflict."

The book was at one time available in the bookshop of the far-right British National Party, which praised it for "blaming poverty, crime, TB and HIV on immigrants."

In the book titled "Do We Need Mass Immigration?" Browne wrote that:

  • Immigration had caused "ongoing and sustained racial violence" in the UK.
  • It is "possible to wander around some parts of Northern towns and not see white faces for hours."
  • Claims of institutional violence in the Metropolitan Police were "a consequence of being a multi-racial society-it simply wouldn't be relevant in a mono-racial one."
  • It had been "established beyond academic doubt that young black men are far more likely to commit violent street crimes including muggings."
  • "Most or certainly many parts of Britain have reached saturation with Indian restaurants."
  • White people were "repelled from, communities with large ethnic minorities."
  • "Those in Britain concerned about the demographic, economic and cultural impact of the unprecedented wave of immigration have no choice but to give their support to the racist British National Party."

Browne, who was also the former head of the British Bankers Association, has since been endorsed by senior members of Johnson's government including the Home Secretary Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Johnson himself.

The opposition Labour party on Tuesday called on Browne to be removed as a candidate.

"This is disgusting racism. It's shocking that someone with such despicable views has been selected to stand for the Conservative party," the Shadow Women and Equalities minister, Naz Shah, said.

"Given his personal relationship with Anthony Browne, Boris Johnson should personally intervene and remove him as a candidate."

Asked about his views when he was appointed by Johnson, Browne told the London Assembly that he had gone through a "phase of being deliberately contrary and deliberately provocative."

He added: "I do very much regret any offence caused by any past newspaper articles. It really never was my intention to cause offence but to provoke debate. The articles, which I deeply regret writing, also don't give a fair reflection of my views. I want to make clear that I am emphatically not anti-immigration."

A Conservative Party spokesperson said: "These comments were made over 15 years ago, Anthony Browne has apologised for these comments and sincerely regrets them."

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