A Tory activist has rejected a show of support from Katie Hopkins after he was told to “go to a white f***ing country” while out campaigning.
Has Ahmed, 23, said he was followed by an older man while out in Redbridge on Sunday with his blue rosette on, and was also called “sick in the head” and a “bloody idiot”.
The video he posted of the encounter has been viewed more than 500,000 times and has been taken up by alt-right social media personality Katie Hopkins, who said Mr Ahmed had shown “good grace under fire”.
But Mr Ahmed rejected her support in a tweet, saying she was trying to fuel “hate and that’s not what I stand for”.
Katie, while I appreciate you highlighting the issue many face at the election campaigns. This should not be made to look like entire the British Muslim community thinks like him. My very belief is the reason for being composed. This fuels hate and that's not what I stand for https://t.co/SxrxeuUEVi
— Has Ahmed (@HasAhmed_) November 26, 2019
Mr Ahmed has told MailOnline he had been left “shaken” by the encounter and claimed the man had followed him for up to four minutes, haranguing him while he campaigned.
He said the man had approached him while he walked to the station, asked if he was a Tory and asked him if he was “ashamed”.
Mr Ahmed, a tech analyst from Stratford who moved from Pakistan 10 years ago, said: “I was really nervous, I was so scared until the moment I got home and locked my doors.
— Has Ahmed (@HasAhmed_) November 24, 2019
“I was shaken, I switched my phone off and just sat there.”
Mr Ahmed said he filmed the man in the hope he would go away.
He tagged Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly in his tweet, and later met up with the politician.
Mr Ahmed tweeted that “hate speech and violence has no place in our society”.
Pleased to meet @JamesCleverly this evening following the incident yesterday. Hate speech and violence has no place in our society! It is incredibly important we now make the wise choice and vote @Conservatives on December 12th. Campaigning continues! pic.twitter.com/xR5VEJnugb
— Has Ahmed (@HasAhmed_) November 25, 2019
Johnny Mercer, a Conservative minister, also tweeted in support of the young activist.
I’ll come campaigning with you next time. Top man. Good work.
— Johnny Mercer (@JohnnyMercerUK) November 24, 2019
Yesterday, former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith tweeted that his local Conservative association headquarters had been daubed in graffiti.
The message, which said ‘Tory cuts kill’, was condemned by his Labour opponent who said she had been the subject of intimidation herself.
The tone of this election campaign has often been criticised. During last week’s ITV debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, host Julie Etchingham invited both to shake hands as a gesture to “improve the nature of debate in this country”.