UK: Tory peer urges investigation into Islamophobia

UK: Tory peer urges investigation into Islamophobia

LONDON – A top Tory peer wrote to Prime Minister Theresa May on Saturday calling for an independent investigation into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.

“As the party who have formed the Government, there is a public interest to ensure the elected executive of the day can and will take swift and decisive action against all forms of discrimination,” Lord Sheikh said in an open letter to May.

Sheikh added that an independent inquiry was necessary to “show we will not tolerate any form of discrimination within our own party” and that “we as a Party are better than this”.

Sheikh gave examples in his letter of Islamophobic incidents, such as the 2016 London Mayoral Election in which Conservative Zac Goldsmith accused Sadiq Khan of being a “terrorist sympathizer” and Bob Blackman of hosting right-wing Hindu nationalist Tapan Ghosh in parliament.

“I call on you as the Prime Minister to take the following two steps immediately,” Sheikh said, urging her to initiate an independent inquiry.

“We must investigate instances of Islamophobic conduct and isolate them swiftly.

“Secondly, the Prime Minister should reach out to all outreach groups of the Conservative Party… and actively engage in dialogue,” Sheikh added.

Sheikh’s letter mirrors an open letter written earlier this week by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), in which it details rampant Islamophobia within the Conservative Party and has called for a similar investigation.

“I make no criticism of the MCB for making such a strong statement — it is both factually correct and, a matter of grave concern to the many Muslim members and supporters of the Party,” Sheikh concluded.

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