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TORY peer Sayeeda Warsi called for an independent inquiry into Islamophobia in her party today, describing its response to claims of anti-Muslim prejudice as “woefully inept.”
Ms Warsi said the Tories should learn from Labour’s handling of anti-semitism allegations and not try to use promises of action as a fig leaf to hide the true extent of the problem.
She said that “absolutely nothing tangible has happened” in response to concerns she has raised over the past three years, including by writing to PM Theresa May and submitting evidence.
And she revealed that she had told the Tories’ influential 1922 Committee that it was time for the party to “move on from the era of ‘fuck the Muslims’.”
Her call follows a Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) complaint that Tory chairman Brandon Lewis had ignored its request for an inquiry, accusing the party of “turning a blind eye” to the issue.
The MCB has compiled a dossier listing Tory councillors and candidates suspended or expelled following allegations of Islamophobia.
It voiced concern about the tone of Zac Goldsmith’s campaign for the London mayoralty in 2016 against Sadiq Khan and about social media messages shared by Harrow East MP Bob Blackman, who has denied allegations of Islamophobia.
In an article for The Guardian, Baroness Warsi, the Tories’ highest-ranking Muslim woman,said both Mr Goldsmith and Mr Blackman should receive “mandatory enrolment” on diversity training courses.
Mr Lewis’s promise of voluntary courses was “not enough,” she said.
Labour NEC member and Momentum chair Jon Lansman said: “Let’s pay tribute to Sayeeda Warsi for calling out Islamophobia within her party over a long period.
“Her call for an inquiry will earn the enmity of many former ‘friends,’ but she deserves the respect of all anti-racists.”
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