A DORSET MP was cut off by an interviewer after repeatedly refusing to explain why" Islamophobic" comments made by a Conservative MP were wrong.

Senior Conservatives are facing mounting pressure to describe Lee Anderson's attack on Sadiq Khan as Islamophobic as the row over his comments entered its fifth day.

Ministers repeatedly declined to use the term to describe the former Tory deputy chairman's comments, with Home Office minister and Mid Dorset and North Poole MP Michael Tomlinson forced to deny that he and his colleagues had been instructed not to use the word after refusing multiple times to say what had been wrong with Mr Anderson's comments.

Facing questions from broadcasters on Tuesday, Mr Tomlinson refused 11 times to explain why he thought Mr Anderson's comments were "wrong", with LBC host Nick Ferrari terminating their interview early saying he was "unable to answer a question".

His Home Office colleague Tom Pursglove also refused to use the term, telling Times Radio: "I don't think Lee personally is racist but what he said was unacceptable."

The Prime Minister and others have condemned Mr Anderson's comments, in which he claimed "Islamists" and "got control" of the Mayor of London, as "wrong" but have so far shied away from calling them "Islamophobic".

Their reluctance to refer to "Islamophobia" has been criticised by Labour as "weak", with one frontbencher saying the Prime Minister was "in hock" to "a strange coalition of MPs".

Bridget Phillipson, the shadow education secretary, said on Tuesday: "He (Anderson) should know better than that, he has been a senior figure within the Conservative Party.

"But I think it speaks to Rishi Sunak's weakness on this that his response has been wholly inadequate."

On Tuesday morning, Downing Street said the Prime Minister regarded Mr Anderson's comments as wrong because they had conflated all Muslims with Islamist extremism.

The latest developments come after James Cleverly, the Home Secretary, joined calls for the former Tory deputy chairman to apologise - something Mr Anderson refused to do on Monday, instead renewing his criticism of Mr Khan.

Speaking to the PA news agency in San Francisco on Monday, Mr Cleverly said: "The Prime Minister has made the position of the party clear, he has asked Lee to apologise, Lee didn't apologise which is why the party whip has been withdrawn.

"I think Lee should apologise, what he said wasn't accurate, it wasn't fair, but the Chief Whip and the Prime Minister have made the party position absolutely clear on this."

The former Tory deputy chairman on Monday admitted his original remarks were "clumsy", but said saying sorry "would be a sign of weakness".

Mr Anderson told GB News: "When you think you are right you should never apologise because to do so would be a sign of weakness."

In a statement to the channel, where he presents a weekly show, he said he had made comments "that some people thought were divisive".

"Politics is divisive and I am just incredibly frustrated about the abject failures of the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan," Mr Anderson said.

"My words may have been clumsy but my words were borne out of sheer frustration at what is happening to our beautiful capital city."