Muslim group tells Tories to ‘remove Islamophobia from party’

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The Muslim Council of Britain has reiterated a call for the Conservatives to launch an independent inquiry into alleged Islamophobia within the party.

The MCB has repeatedly demanded an investigation, and says there are now “more than weekly incidents” involving Tory candidates and representatives.

In an open letter, it tells chairman Brandon Lewis he must “ensure racists and bigots have no place” in the party.

Muslim group tells Tories to ‘remove Islamophobia from party’
Muslim group tells Tories to ‘remove Islamophobia from party’

A Tory spokesman said it took all incidents of Islamophobia seriously.

The latest letter from the MCB lists a series of incidents it says took place during April and at the beginning of May.

Skip Twitter post by @MuslimCouncil

We are calling for an independent inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party following more than weekly occurrences of Islamophobia in the party last month

— MCB (@MuslimCouncil) May 30, 2018

End of Twitter post by @MuslimCouncil

It names Harrow East MP Bob Blackman, saying he had retweeted a post on Twitter by former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson and had hosted events in Parliament which a controversial Hindu nationalist attended.

At the time of the events, Labour and the MCB said Tapan Ghosh held “abhorrent” views about Muslims.

Mr Blackman said he did not regret sharing a platform with him, but did not agree with Tweets sent by Mr Ghosh about Muslims. Mr Ghosh has also insisted he is not Islamophobic.

In statement on Thursday Mr Blackman said he “utterly refutes” any allegations of Islamophobia.

“I did not host Tapan Ghosh in parliament. He was invited by an organisation without my knowledge. In the past I shared a social media post in error which I apologised for at the time. I will continue working with all communities in my constituency and I condemn Islamophobia,” he said.

The letter, sent by the MCB’s secretary-general Harun Khan, calls for the Tories to “publish a list of incidents of Islamophobia within the party where action has already been taken”, and “adopt a programme of education and training on Islamophobia”.

Lastly, Mr Khan asks that the party “reaffirm from the highest level a commitment against bigotry wherever it is found”.

Responding to the letter, a Conservative spokesman said: “We take all such incidents seriously, which is why we have suspended all those who have behaved inappropriately and launched immediate investigations.”

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