Nusrat Ghani Islamophobia claims won’t be looked at until ‘she makes a ...
Tory MP Nusrat Ghani has received an outpouring of solidarity after she claimed that she was sacked as a minister because she is a Muslim.
The 49-year-old, who had previously held a post at the Department for Transport in 2018, was the first Muslim woman to ever speak in the House of Commons.
However, in a report by The Sunday Times, it is claimed that Ghani lost her role in a 2020 mini-reshuffle because of her faith. When Ghani asked a government whip why she was being moved on from the role, she was told that "Muslimness was raised as an issue" and that her status as a "Muslim woman... was making colleagues uncomfortable."
Ghani, who has served as the MP for Wealden since 2015, was reportedly told if she continued to pursue the issue she "would be ostracised and her career and reputation would be destroyed.
"I raised it several more times through official party channels.... I was extremely careful to follow procedure, and when the procedure ran out of road I had no choice but to get on with my career."
On Saturday evening, chief whip, Mark Spencer identified himself as the person that Ghani's claims are about but denied the accusations calling them "completely false and defamatory." He added that it was "disappointing" that the matter was not referred to the Conservative party for a formal investigation.
To ensure other Whips are not drawn into this matter, I am identifying myself as the person Nusrat Ghani MP has made claims about this evening.\n\nThese accusations are completely false and I consider them to be defamatory. I have never used those words attributed to me
Since the report was published many figures from across the political spectrum have spoken out and showed their solidarity to Ghani, calling the alleged treatment she received "disgusting."
Treating someone like this is disgusting.\n\n@Nus_Ghani is a valued colleague who speaks out on important issues - our job as MPs.\n\nAs a former Govt Chief Whip and co-chair of @Women2Win I hope the PM sets up an urgent inquiry - there is no place for prejudice in 10 Downing Street.https://twitter.com/thesundaytimes/status/1484960561263693828\u00a0\u2026
I\u2019ve loved working cross-party with @Nus_Ghani on loads of issues. The idea her party managers would judge her based on faith not talent is beyond comprehension.\n\nYet another sign of how far the Tories have sunk.\n\nThis isn\u2019t just a Boris Johnson problem, it\u2019s endemic.https://twitter.com/thesundaytimes/status/1484960561263693828\u00a0\u2026
We now know why. This is a rotten Govt that simply does not know how to behave. Those responsible for the treatment of @Nus_Ghani have to go. They besmirch our democracy.https://twitter.com/ianblackford_mp/status/1484996013073080326\u00a0\u2026
Shocking and truly appalling allegations.\n\nIt is unacceptable for anyone to ever be discriminated against for their faith. \n\nI am absolutely disgusted and so sorry you had to go through this @Nus_Ghanihttps://twitter.com/thesundaytimes/status/1484960561263693828\u00a0\u2026
Nus Ghani is my friend. She grew up in Birmingham, she and I share many a local tale. She is whip smart, funny, courteous and kind. She's also tough, tough like a Muslim woman in politics has to be. I am proud she is from Birmingham, her party should feel the same.https://twitter.com/PippaCrerar/status/1484984005481095171\u00a0\u2026
Absolutely horrendous\n\n@Nus_Ghani says she was told by a whip her \u201cMuslimness was raised as an issue\u201d at a meeting in Downing Street & her \u201cMuslim women minister status was making colleagues feel uncomfortable\u201d\n\u201cIt was like being punched in stomach\nI felt humiliated & powerless\u201dhttps://twitter.com/thesundaytimes/status/1484960561263693828\u00a0\u2026
That Nus could be treated like this is completely intolerable. \n\nI value @Nus_Ghani as a great colleague and I'm appalled. We must get to the bottom of it.https://twitter.com/thesundaytimes/status/1484960561263693828\u00a0\u2026
— Steve Baker MP FRSA (@Steve Baker MP FRSA)
Solidarity with @Nus_Ghani\nCalling out your own , calling out racism & taking a principled stance is brave & bold but never easy.\nNus has a long & proud history of fighting antisemitism & she has bravely fought for the rights of #Uyghurs \nOn #Islamophobia now she must be heardhttps://twitter.com/thesundaytimes/status/1484960561263693828\u00a0\u2026
The more I contemplate this, the angrier I become. @Nus_Ghani is a person of integrity, honour and talent. @SteveBakerHW has rightly come out and defended her and says the truth must come out. Every Conservative MP should come out and support her publicly.https://twitter.com/thesundaytimes/status/1484960561263693828\u00a0\u2026
These accusations are revolting. There can be no place for Islamophobia in our politics. From the bankbenches, @nus_ghani has shown her character in fearlessly championing the rights of the Uyghur. She has my solidarity.https://twitter.com/thesundaytimes/status/1484960561263693828\u00a0\u2026
This report demands an inquiry. @Nus_Ghani is a friend, neighbour and valued member of our party. There is no place for racism in @Conservatives.https://twitter.com/thesundaytimes/status/1484960561263693828\u00a0\u2026
This is shocking to read, the Conservatives must investigate immediately. Solidarity with @Nus_Ghani for your bravery in speaking out. \n\nThere\u2019s report after report of appalling behaviour and lack of respect at the centre of this government. \n\nCulture is set at the top.https://twitter.com/thesundaytimes/status/1484960561263693828\u00a0\u2026
Anyone who has seen @Nus_Ghani \u2018s work on China, supporting women Afghan MPs & other issues knows how brave & principled she is. \n\nTruly awful how she has been treated. Response from some senior Tories today makes it worse.\n\nNo one shd face discrimination for their faith.https://twitter.com/thesundaytimes/status/1484960561263693828\u00a0\u2026
Speaking on Sky News on Sunday, deputy prime minister Dominic Raab has said there will be no “specific investigation” into a claim by a Tory MP that she was told she had been fired as a minister due to concerns about her “Muslimness.”
Mr Raab said that while Ms Ghani’s allegation was “incredibly serious” there would be no investigation by the Conservative Party unless she submitted a formal complaint, which she has not done.
“He (Mr Spencer) has categorically denied it in what can only be described as the most forthright and robust terms indeed,” Mr Raab told Sky News’s Trevor Phillips On Sunday programme.
“If there are any claims like this they should result in a formal complaint which allows a formal investigation to take place.
“As the chief whip has pointed out, Nus hasn’t made a formal complaint. She was asked to do so. In the absence of doing so there will be no specific investigation into this.”
Downing Street has since said that Boris Johnson met with Nusrat Ghani to discuss her “extremely serious claims” that she was sacked as a minister because of concerns about her “Muslimness.”
A No 10 spokesman said in a statement that the Prime Minister invited her to make a formal complaint but she did not do so.“After being made aware of these extremely serious claims, the Prime Minister met with Nusrat Ghani to discuss them,” the spokesman said.
“He then wrote to her expressing his serious concern and inviting her to begin a formal complaint process. She did not subsequently do so. “The Conservative Party does not tolerate prejudice or discrimination of any kind.”
Labour's shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry has called for the Tories to hold an independent inquiry into Islamophobia. Speaking to Times Radio, Thornberry added that the Conservative Party “just don’t take Islamophobia in their midst seriously”.
She added: “I would like to see an independent inquiry into Islamophobia in the Tory Party in the same way that we quite rightly held an independent inquiry into the poison that is anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.”
Ghani has since said she was told by Boris Johnson that he could not get involved after she spoke to him about her claim she was sacked as a minister because of concerns over her “Muslimness”.
In a statement the MP said: “When I told the Prime Minister in June 2020 what had been said to me in the Government Whips’ Office I urged him to take it seriously as a Government matter and instigate an inquiry.
“He wrote to me that he could not get involved and suggested I use the internal Conservative Party complaint process.
“This, as I had already pointed out, was very clearly not appropriate for something that happened on Government business – I do not even know if the words that were conveyed to me about what was said in reshuffle meetings at Downing Street were by members of the Conservative Party.”