Sajid Javid denies Tories have an Islamophobia problem
Sajid Javid has denied that the Conservative party has a problem with Islamophobia.
The Home Secretary said that he disagreed with former Conservative party chair Baroness Warsi who claimed that the party was “in denial” about Islamophobia.
Earlier this week she urged the Prime Minister to make a “very clear statement of an acknowledgement of the issue and that the party will tackle it.”
“Up to now, sadly, there are certain parts of the party that have been in denial about the issue.”
“It’s burying its head in the sand and now unfortunately it’s playing out in a very embarrassing way, in a very public way.”
But speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, the Home Secretary denied that the party had a specific problem with Islamophobia.
“I have got a lot of time for Baroness Warsi but I’m afraid I do not agree with that… For a start let’s just have a look at who the Home Secretary is in this country. As you’ve just described me my name is Sajid Javid, I am the Home Secretary in this country.”
He added: “That said, there are issues with anti-Muslim hatred in the country as there is, for example, anti-Semitism. All types of hate crime is wrong at every level. We will fight it and we will continue to have that strategy that deals with it and we will listen to anyone that wants to help us in that fight.”
Baroness Warsi’s comments follow a call from The Muslim Council of Britain for the party to launch an independent investigation into the issue, citing a number of incidents it says took place in the last two months.
But the Home Secretary hit out at the Council’s credibility saying that it “does not represent” Muslims in the country.
“Who said this? It’s the Muslim Council of Britain. They’ve written recently to the chairman of the Conservative party making these allegations. The Muslim Council of Britain does not represent Muslims in this country - find me a group of Muslims that thinks they are represented by the MCB.”
He added: “I would be very suspicious of anything they have got to say, not lease because under the last Labour government and a policy continued by us, we don’t deal with the MCB and we don’t deal with it because too many of their members have had favourable comments on extremism and that is not acceptable.”
Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the Musllim Council of Britain Miqdaad Versi accused Mr Javid of "shooting the messenger" as he revealed polling which appeared to show that a majority of Muslims felt their views were well represented by the Council.