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The European Parliament has abruptly pulled down giant banners promoting upcoming European elections in the cities of Brussels and Strasbourg after they were branded as ‘Islamophobic’.

Conceived as part of a £29m ‘this time I’m voting’ campaign to promote next year’s European elections the posters depict a woman wearing a headscarf alongside a pledge to ‘manage migration’.

This language has been described by The European Network Against Racism as code for limiting Muslim migration in particular to the continent, prompting the group’s senior advocacy officer to express ‘outrage’ at ‘Islamophobic narratives’.

Responding to the stramash a parliament spokesperson said: “The idea behind the campaign was simply to represent a group of migrants, in this case from Syria, because that’s where most of them were coming from, on a poster and saying the EU is sharing the issue of how to manage them, how to distribute them and how to handle the various asylum requests collectively.

“That was the intent behind the poster. But it’s obviously been misread or misrepresented or misunderstood.”

Migration is a hot political issue in Europe with one German TV station accused of Islamophobia itself for mocking up a 'Muslim Merkel' graphic.