A Portsmouth [United Kingdom] councillor walked out of a council meeting because an imam was asked to deliver an opening prayer.

Conservative councillor Malcolm Hey left Tuesday night’s Portsmouth City Council chamber while Sheikh Fazle Abbas Datoo was speaking.

The imam, from the Al Mahdi mosque in Wickham, had been invited by the city’s lord mayor Paula Riches.

Mr Hey said it was not appropriate for a Muslim to deliver prayers at the start of a full council meeting.

His behaviour was heavily criticised by Muslim community group Wessex Jamaat, which said snubbing the imam by walking out was “a serious issue”.

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