Mr Davis said he was horrified by the 'totally false' allegation, which Professor Keith had refused to withdraw despite being given the chance to do so. Mr Davis's remarks, reported in the Daily Mail, in fact merely warned the scheme could further segregation. He said then: 'There would rightly be outrage if a council offered a whites-only housing block. I firmly believe that we should look to achieve integration rather than segregation in our society. This is the sort of thoughtless policy that feed extremism.' The shadow home secretary said last night: 'Michael Keith has twisted beyond recognition a reasonable statement I made three years ago. 'It is totally false and utterly misleading to say I called for Sonali Gardens day centre to be burnt down. It is inflammatory to the community. It is insulting to me. The very worst kind of politics. I expect a full apology.' Professor Keith, a friend of Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly, is a former leader of Tower Hamlets council who lost his seat to the Respect party and is now fighting to get back onto the council. He said: 'My remarks were clearly not meant to be taken literally but metaphorically,'
Yeah, right. If he cannot see how reprehensible such remarks are then he is not only not fit to stand in this council by-election, he most certainly isn't to be a member of the Government's Task Force on Community Cohesion. Indeed, Hazel Blears should sack him. She won't of course, because of the effect on the by-election.
On another note, many congratulations to Kulveer Ranger, who was today appointed a Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party in charge of Cities. He's a great guy and will do a fantastic job.
UPDATE: I have been forwarded an email from someone who attended the meeting at which Prfoessor Williams made his outrageous remarks...
At a hustings meeting tonight which I attended he said that "the Conservative shadow home secretary wanted to burn down Sonali Gardens day care centre because its for Bangladeshis". This is apparently a repeat of a line he took today on BBC London Radio - I have not listened to the interview, but have been told that he repeated this allegation in the radio interview - can be downloaded from HERE.