A leading Birmingham city councillor has been forced to issue a public apology after accusing another councillor of being a Muslim extremist.
Liberal Democrat Martin Mullaney said he “apologised unreservedly” for stating that Respect councillor Salma Yaqoob supported stoning people to death and wanted to see Britain become an Islamic republic.
The back-down came after a stormy council meeting which saw Coun Yaqoob refuse to join a standing ovation for war hero Lance Corporal Matt Croucher, who won the George Cross for bravery in Afghanistan.
The snub led Coun Mullaney to suggest Coun Yaqoob would have stood to applaud a suicide bomber.
He wrote on a website: “I can only assume that if one of the failed 21/7 London suicide bombers had been in the council chamber, Coun Yaqoob would have been demanding the council applaud the failed suicide bomber for their past heroic actions.
“If Coun Yaqoob had her way, she would be implementing Hadood Law, with hands cut off and stonings.”
At least two councillors have reported Coun Mullaney over the incident to the city’s Standards Committee, which could suspend him from the council.
His conduct was also criticised by Birmingham Lib Dem leader Paul Tilsley, although the party is not taking disciplinary action against him.
Coun Mullaney published the following apology to Coun Yaqoob: “I have been made aware of a couple of formal complaints to the city council’s Standards Committee about comments that I recently made relating to you which could potentially have been damaging to you.
“I recognise that my comments were unfounded, insensitive and overstepped the mark in terms of the code of conduct for members.
“As such, I apologise, unreservedly, to you, the complainants and the members of the Standards Committee for those remarks and the hurt that they, undoubtedly, caused.
“I hope this draws a line under the matter.”
In his website article, Coun Mullaney also provided a link to an article written by Coun Yaqoob entitled The Islamic Republic of Great Britain.
In it, she describes a story set in the future with Prince Charles, who has become King, quitting the throne and living in the Tibet as a Buddhist monk.
Prince William, now known as William bin Charlie, becomes King and presides over an Islamic Britain where Hadood law is in force. However, Coun Yaqoob writes that initial fears of an increase in one-handed people because of brutal punishment have not been realised.
Coun Mullaney’s comments were described at the time as “malicious and extremely damaging” by Coun Yaqoob, who demanded an apology.