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MP Jim Fitzpatrick refutes Islamophobia claims

PUBLISHED: 12:13 13 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:03 05 October 2010

MP Jim Fitzpatrick was fighting for his political career last night after finding himself at the centre of a smear campaign . The Poplar and Limehouse Labour MP called an urgent press conference for the Bengali media to quash rumours he was Islamophobi

MP Jim Fitzpatrick was fighting for his political career last night after finding himself at the centre of a "smear campaign".

The Poplar and Limehouse Labour MP called an urgent press conference for the Bengali media to quash rumours he was Islamophobic after he and his wife boycotted a segregated wedding in the London Muslim Centre in August.

He refuted claims he is calling for the ban of traditional Muslim weddings and urged his constituents not to listen to rumours after hearing a petition has been circulating calling for his resignation.

The food and farming minister was at the centre of controversy after he accused the London Muslim Centre in August of imposing "stricter" segregation rules and blamed the Muslim organisation the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE) for its "stranglehold influence" on the centre.

But he told the Advertiser: "I am saying to people to judge me on my own record not on rumours.

"I do not regret what I said. But I do apologise to the families as I did not mean to cause them any offence.

"I believe I do have the support of the party and the majority of my Muslim constituents and I have been invited to Muslim weddings since.

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