Major Muslim group accuses Tories of failing to act on Islamophobia in party
A powerful Muslim group has urged the Conservatives to launch a review into Islamophobia in the party, warning that “more than weekly incidents” are taking place.
The Muslim Council of Britain called on Tory chair Brandon Lewis to “ensure bigots and racists have no place” in the party.
In an open letter, the general secretary of the group Harun Khan urged the party to publish a list of incidents over which it had already taken action.
He laid out a string of incidents he said took place during April and the beginning of May - including a controversial event held by Tory MP Bob Blackman in Parliament.
Mr Blackman hosted Hindu nationalist Tapan Ghosh - who has been accused of holding “abhorrent” views about Muslims but insists he is not Islamophobic.
Mr Khan said there were “more than weekly incidents” in April and called on the party to launch a “programme of education and training on Islamophobia”.
He added: "We want all political parties to ensure that they are firm in their commitment against all forms of bigotry and discrimination.
"Our democracy should not be overshadowed by a divisive culture within political parties that scapegoats minorities and alienates some who share similar political positions."
Tory former chair Baroness Warsi said a review into Islamophobia in the Conservative party was “long overdue”.
She told the Independent: "The party has been aware of the issue at the highest level and has failed to take the issue seriously and at times even denied its very existence.
"A formal inquiry is now long overdue and I hope my party send a very clear message by establishing this inquiry that bigotry will not be tolerated in a modern Conservative party."
A Conservative spokesperson said: "We take all such incidents seriously, which is why we have suspended all those who have behaved inappropriately and launched immediate investigations."