A man carries a copy of the Koran.
Former Conservative grandee Baroness Flather has sparked outrage by claiming that all Muslims in Britain live on benefits.
The Mail on Sunday claimed that the cross-bench peer endorsed comments reportedly made by the man recently appointed by David Cameron to deliver victory at the 2015 General Election.
Flather said: "I don't condone swearing but Lynton [Crosby] is right to say it is pointless for the Conservaties to chase Muslims. They are all on benefits and all vote Labour."
Crosby led Boris Johnson's two election campaigns for mayor of London. A hard-boiled Australian, it was reported that one piece of advice he gave Johnson was not to canvas the votes of "f***ing Muslims".
Sources close to Crosby insisted it was not a racist remark but just typical of Crosby's robust antipodean style.
Opponents slammed Flather and Labour MP Michael Dugher called on her to apologise.
Baroness Flather was the first Asian woman to receive a peerage and caused a stir by appearing the House of Lords dressed in a sari following her investiture in 1986. But the Baroness of Windsor and Maidenhead is no friend of political correctness.
Some previous remarks attributed to the past winner of the Asian Woman Magazine's Woman of the Year include:
Last year, Baroness Flather claimed British Bangladeshis and Pakistanis had lots of children so they could claim extra benfits.
"The minority communities in this country, particularly the Pakistanis and the Bangladeshis, have a very large number of children and the attraction is the large number of benefits that follow the child.
"Nobody likes to accept that, nobody likes to talk about it, because it is supposed to be very politically incorrect," she told the Upper House.
She also suggested on a radio phone-in that Nigerian men had several wives because they were lazy. Offended callers rang in to insist that polygamy indicated affluence, not indolence.
She told BBC 5 Live: "They have four wives - one to do the farming, one to look after the children, one to look after the man and one to do the housework. It is just a fact. Why should I lie?"
She declared in a TV programme that welfare should not be available to everybody because it created idleness.
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