Tory MP Paul Scully resigns after warning of ‘no-go areas’ in London and Birmingham

Tory MP Paul Scully has announced he is stepping down at the next general election after comments he made about “no go” areas in London and Birmingham were met with uproar.

Mr Scully evoked ire after he said that parts of Tower Hamlets and Birmingham Sparkhill were “no go areas” due to people “abusing” their own religion.

The former minister has now announced his resignation. Posting on social media site X, Mr Scully said:

“I have told my local association that I won’t be contesting the next General Election. Over the last nine years it’s been a privilege to represent in Parliament, the area which I called home for 35 years”

He added: “Fuelled by division, the party has lost its way and needs to get a clear focus which I hope the budget can start to provide. It needs a vision beyond crisis management which can appeal to a wider section of the electorate including younger people...”

Mr Scully came under fire for comments made during a BBC London interview last week where he suggested that “parts of” Tower Hamlets and Birmingham Sparkhill are “no-go areas mainly because of doctrine and mainly because people are sort of abusing in many ways their religion”.

His comments received criticism from both Labour and the Tories, as Conservative mayor Andy Street said “it really is time for those in Westminster to stop the nonsense slurs and experience the real world. I for one am proud to lead the most diverse place in Britain."

Labour MP Jess Phillips added: “As one of the MPs for Sparkhill I am expecting an apology for this utter drivel.”

Mr Scully made his comments following the suspension of former deputy-chairman Lee Anderson from the Conservative party after he refused to apologise for claiming “Islamists” had achieved “control” over London.

Mr Scully said Mr Anderson was “trying to reflect” concerns about their neighbourhoods changing “in a really clumsy way”.

Both Sparkhill and Tower Hamlets have large Muslim populations.

Ali Milani, chairman of the Labour Muslim Network, told BBC London that Scully was perpetuating an “Islamophobic myth that has been continuously perpetuated.”