David Cameron apology over imam gaffe

British Prime Minister David Cameron has apologised for “any misunderstanding” after calling former imam Sulaiman Ghani a supporter of IS.
David Cameron apology over imam gaffe

In the run-up to the local elections last month, Cameron used question time in the House of Commons to accuse Labour’s mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan of repeatedly sharing a platform with the ex-cleric, who he branded a backer of the jihadist organisation.

He accused Khan of repeatedly sharing a platform with Ghani, adding “this man supports IS”.

Ghani, a former imam at the Tooting Islamic Centre, had threatened legal action over the remarks.

Downing St said Cameron was referring to reports that Ghani supports “an” Islamic state.

A Number 10 spokesman said: “ In reference to the prime minister’s comments on Sulaiman Ghani, the prime minister was referring to reports that he supports an Islamic state.

“The prime minister is clear this does not mean Mr Ghani supports the organisation Daesh [IS] and he apologises to him for any misunderstanding.”

Cameron’s latest gaffe comes after he was criticised by officials from Nigeria and Afghanistan after he was caught on camera telling the Queen they were “possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world”.

Meanwhile, Chinese censors have blocked BBC television reports of Queen Elizabeth’s comments about China’s “very rude” officials. A BBC spokesman said coverage on its BBC World News channel had been blocked in the country.

The queen was recorded making the remarks to a Metropolitan Police commander at a Buckingham Palace garden party during a discussion about difficulties organising President Xi Jinping’s visit last October.

The queen quipped that it had been “bad luck” when she heard how Commander Lucy D’Orsi had been assigned to be gold commander of the police operation around the visit of the leader.

Palace officials have declined to comment on the private conversation with the police officer during an event marking the queen’s 90th birthday, but stressed that Xi’s visit had been “extremely successful”.

The comments were captured by an official palace cameraman.

Footage showed the queen being introduced to D’Orsi by an official. When the official told how D’Orsi had been assigned as commander for the operation, the queen quipped: “Oh, bad luck.”

The official told the queen the officer had been “seriously undermined by the Chinese” in their handling of the visit, but added that the officer had managed to “hold her own”. As D’Orsi asked if she knew it had been a “testing time”, the queen interjected: “I did.”

The officer described how Chinese officials walked out of a meeting with Barbara Woodward, British ambassador to China, at Lancaster House, telling them the trip was off. The queen said: “They were very rude to the ambassador.”

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