Tory chairman James Cleverly confirms party will hold Islamophobia inquiry

Posted On: 
4th August 2019

Conservative chairman James Cleverly has confirmed that the party will launch an independent probe into the extent of Islamophobia within its ranks.

James Cleverly said the Conservatives would launch an inquiry into Islamophobia in the party
Credit: 
Sky News

The intervention comes amid pressure on Boris Johnson to commit to an inquiry after he was accused of watering down his stance on the issue during the Tory leadership contest.

Mr Johnson agreed to launch a probe into anti-Muslim hate on a TV debate in June, but later appeared to backtrack when he vowed to bring forward “an inquiry into every manner of prejudice within the party”.

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When asked on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday, whether there would be an inquiry into Islamophobia, Mr Cleverly said: “There will be…

"One of the things that we need to get is the definition of that and so specifically on that point we will guided by the formal definition of Islamophobia.

"But the point is we do and will always take firm action with anyone who steps outside the boundaries of appropriate behaviour.”

Mr Cleverly’s intervention came a week after Government frontbencher Rishi Sunak refused to confirm that a probe would go ahead and insisted that it was “a question for the brand new party chairman”.

Calls for a probe were ramped up in July after a poll by Hope Not Hate found that 54% of Conservative Party members believe that Islam is “generally a threat to the British way of life”.

Meanwhile 60% think that "Islam is generally a threat to Western civilisation", with fewer than one-in-five (17%) taking the opposite view.

And 61% of members believe Islam poses a threat to the British way of life because it “breeds intolerance for free speech and calls for violent actions against those who mock, criticise or depict the religion in ways they believe are offensive”.

Theresa May appointed Imam Qari Asim to provide expert advice on a definition of Islamophobia for the Government as one of her last acts as Prime Minister.