Tory civil war deepens after beatings accused of fear of Islam
The civil war within the UK’s ruling Conservative party was deepened when a former minister accused her of fear of Islam after she was sacked and warned not to discuss the issue in public.
Nusrat Ghani, who served as transport minister from January 2018 to February 2020, alleged that she was whipped by the Tory that “Islam has been seen as a problem by Downing Street” because fired her. She added that the whipping told her “her status as a Muslim women’s minister is making her colleagues uncomfortable”.
Ghani, 49 years old, told Sunday Times She felt “humiliated and powerless” after the episode and was warned not to discuss the matter or “her career and reputation will be ruined”. “I’m not going to pretend this hasn’t shaken my faith in the party,” she added.
The statement comes as the Tories prepare for the expected publication this week of senior official Sue Gray’s report on alleged partying in Downing Street during the lockdown. The incident prompted a number of Tory MPs to send a letter of no-confidence towards Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Downing Street said Johnson met Ghani on July 1, 2020 after he was made aware of these “extremely serious claims” and wrote to her on July 10 “expressing her serious concerns and invite her to initiate a formal complaint process.” No 10 added: “The Conservative Party does not tolerate any form of prejudice or discrimination.”
Mark Spencer, the whipping team leader, identified herself as the whipping she said in March 2020 but described her comments as “completely untrue” and “defamatory”.
“It is disappointing that this matter was brought up before Ms. Ghani refused to refer the matter to the Conservatives for a formal investigation,” he tweeted.
Spencer added: “I provided evidence to Singh’s Inquiry into agoraphobia, which concluded that there was no credible basis for the claims.”
But Ghani was defended by education minister Nadhim Zahawi, who called for the allegations to be “properly investigated” and “racism to be dealt with”.
He tweeted with the hashtag #standwithNus, “there is no place for heresy or any form of racism in our Conservative party. Nus Ghani is an accomplished friend, colleague and congressman.
Dominic Raab, the deputy prime minister, told Sky News the allegations were “extremely serious” but pointed out that she had rejected a formal complaint.
“It was very unusual that the chief whip was emitted and. . . he categorically rejects that in what can only be described in the most straightforward and certain terms,” he said.
Several other prominent Conservatives expressed support for Ghani. Tom Tugendhat, chairman of the House foreign affairs select committee, has called for an investigation into the allegations. “There is no place for racism in the Conservative Party.” Steve Baker, a famous protest MP, described her remarks as “completely intolerable” and said: “We have to get to the bottom of it.”
Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labor party, expressed solidarity with Ghani and blamed a “put first” culture. He said: “There is report after report of appalling and disrespectful behavior at the heart of this government.”
Meanwhile, Christian Wakeford, who defected from the Labor party from the Tories last week, singled out former education secretary and whip school director Gavin Williamson as the man who threatened to cancel the construction of new schools if new schools were to be abandoned. he “did not vote in a particular way”.
Wakeford told the Sunday Times, that Williamson told him: “It’s not very helpful to support the opposition.” [motion] against the department you’re looking for a huge favor from, so consider what you’re doing. ”
Williamson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.