MP for Keighley sparks outrage with comments during a Commons debate when he also said Muslim men are 'fundamentally' sexist towards women.
* Keighley MP uses Commons debate to demand government agencies do more to tackle the problem
* He also suggests Muslim men are 'fundamentally' sexist towards women
* Bradford Council for Mosques say he has over-stepped the mark
A Tory MP has sparked controversy after claiming, what we already know, that ‘gangs of Muslim men are going round and raping white kids at this moment in time’.
Kris Hopkins, MP for Keighley, said the extraordinary claim was a ‘fact’ and urged government agencies to tackle the problem.
But he has been criticised by Muslim leaders in his constituency, who said he overstepped the mark during a Commons debate.
Mr Hopkins, a former leader of Bradford city council, also claimed Muslim men were ‘fundamentally’ sexist towards women, and politicians had to challenge behaviour and culture.
Speaking in a parliamentary debate on child sexual exploitation, Mr Hopkins claimed mainstream parties had failed by not speaking out about the racial and cultural aspect to some abuse cases and extremists groups had filled the vacuum.
He told MPs: ‘The British National Party will use grooming as a key element of its campaign in the Rotherham election campaign, which will start soon.
‘Not all British Pakistani men are abusing white kids. There is a minority, though. The media coverage gives long lists of notorious abusers - including vicars, priests and celebrities - who are all white and non-Muslim.’
The ‘vast majority’ of child abusers in this country are white, he added.
‘But we should not get away from the fact that gangs of Muslim men are going round and raping white kids at this moment in time.
‘That is an horrendous thing to say, but it is the fact of what is happening. I want to explore some of the state’s agencies’ behaviour towards that, and some of the community’s associated behaviour and culture.’
Mr Hopkins conceded that his friends in the Commons and ‘back home’ would not like what he was saying, but he felt it had to be said.
‘Fundamentally, there is a sexist behaviour by Muslim men towards women,’ he said.
‘We talk about institutions and commissions and all the rest of it. Fundamentally, as leaders, we need to challenge the behaviour that is going on.
‘We need to do that from a point, though, of not being racist. We are friends who want those people to be successful in our society. They are part of British society, but there is behaviour that is unacceptable.’
Bradford Council for Mosques said Mr Hopkins had overstepped the mark.
A spokesman said: ‘All of us, Muslim or non-Muslim, are equally appalled by the activities of criminals amidst our society.
‘To suggest that the Muslim community does not care is grossly libellous. Kris Hopkins is right to draw the attention to the activities of the criminals and the plight of the victims but he has overstepped his remit,’ he told the Bradford Telegraph and Argus.
‘He has the right to be angry but, equally, a man of his position should be more discerning in what he says and how he says it. He should not overlook the fact that he went around pleading for votes from the same Muslim faith institutions that he so arrogantly dismissive of.’