Top Tory MP blasted over claim Islamophobia allegations are 'politically motivated'
Allegations of Islamophobia against the Conservative party by a prominent Muslim group are politically motivated, a top Tory claimed today - earning her an angry rebuke from a Labour MP.
Kemi Badenoch said the Muslim Council of Britain was “unlikely to look very favourably” on the Tories and dismissed concerns the party had a racism problem.
The MCB has said there are “more than weekly incidents” of Islamophobia in Tory ranks, while ex-chair Baroness Warsi has demanded a full-blown inquiry.
But Ms Badenoch - who serves as a vice chair for candidates - insisted Ms Warsi was wrong and argued all allegations are sufficiently investigated.
“Where we do find party members or people who hold positions in local government doing things we suspend them and we investigate them,” she told Sophy Ridge on Sky News.
She added: “I don't think the Muslim Council of Britain is an organisation that would look very favourably on the Conservative party anyway – so I think there is probably a political motive there.”
And she said: “There are many people in the party who are muslims who don't recognise the allegations about Islamophobia.”
But Labour MP Wes Streeting fumed: “For crying out loud. Concern about the Tories’ approach to tackling Islamophobia is widely felt and deeply felt within the Muslim community.
“This sort of dismissal and deflection is the same rubbish I hear within the Labour Party about anti-Semitism.”
Miqdaad Versi, a spokesman for the MCB, said it was “disappointing” that Ms Badenoch was attacking the group for “standing up for concerns of Muslim communities”.
Earlier this year, Home Secretary Sajid Javid also blasted the MCB amid a spike in the row over Islamophobia in the party.
He said: “The Muslim Council of Britain does not represent Muslims in this country. You find me a group of Muslims that thinks that they're represented by the MCB.
“I would be very suspicious of anything that they've got to say, not least because under the last Labour government and a policy continued by us, we don't deal with the MCB.
“We don't deal with it because too many of their members have had you know, comments on extremists and that's not acceptable.”