Conservative party members suspended pending Islamophobia investigation

12 November 2019, 22:59

The Conservative party is facing increasing pressure to conduct an independent inquiry into Islamophobia in the party
The Conservative party is facing increasing pressure to conduct an independent inquiry into Islamophobia in the party. Picture: PA
Maddie Goodfellow

By Maddie Goodfellow

The Tories have suspended a number of members pending an investigation after a dossier was revealed suggesting members had posted or endorsed Islamophobic and racist material online.

Twenty-five sitting and former Conservative councillors are said to be amongst those named in the documents, which were obtained by The Guardian.

The party announced that all of those named in the documents who were found to be Conservative Party members has been "suspended immediately, pending an investigation".

A spokeswoman said: "The swift action we take on not just anti-Muslim discrimination, but discrimination of any kind is testament to the seriousness with which we take such issues," a spokeswoman said.

"The Conservative Party will never stand by when it comes to prejudice and discrimination of any kind.

She continued: "That's why we are already establishing the terms of an investigation to make sure that such instances are isolated and robust processes are in place to stamp them out as and when they occur.

It is understood not all the names provided in the dossier are members of the Tory Party.

Shadow equalities minister Naz Shah has spoken out about "Islamophobia in the Conservative party"
Shdown equalities minister Naz Shah has spoken out about "Islamophobia in the Conservative party". Picture: PA

The disclosure is likely to increase pressure on Boris Johnson to hold a specific independent inquiry into Islamophobia in the party, rather than a broader investigation into prejudice within its ranks.

Shadow equalities minister Naz Shah said: "The Conservative Party is rife with Islamophobia, racism and bigotry from top to bottom, but we have no faith that Boris Johnson will do anything about it.

"Johnson's comments about Muslim women looking like 'bank robbers' and 'letter boxes' were linked to a 375% rise in anti-Muslim hate crime, and polls show a majority of Conservative Party members hold Islamophobic views.

"Boris Johnson must commit to a full independent inquiry into Islamophobia and stop pretending it doesn't exist in his party."

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