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Tory leaders depreciate pledge to investigate Islamophobia

26th Jul 2019
Tory leaders depreciate pledge to investigate Islamophobia

PM candidates Boris Johnson & Jeremy Hunt (Photo WikiCommons)

Hamed Chapman

Both of the remaining two candidates to replace Prime Minister, Theresa May, have quickly watered down pledges to hold independent investigations into the extent of Islamophobia within the ruling Tory party. “What we’ve committed to is a general investigation into all types of prejudice and discrimination including anti-Semitism,” Boris Johnson told the grassroots centre-right blog ConservativeHome within days of the pledge made by all five candidates on the shortlist to become the next party leader.

The firm favourite to be May’s successor was asked in an interview if he still supported the call made by Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, made during a BBC debate on June 18 for an independent inquiry into Islamophobia within the Conservative Party after everyone had said they agreed.

A further two weeks after his interview with ConservativeHome was published on June 27, Johnson told ITV he would only bring forward “an inquiry into every manner of prejudice within the party”, claiming the Tories “treat any allegations of prejudice or discrimination or Islamophobia, within our party, any kind of prejudice as absolutely unacceptable.

Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, the other remaining candidate, has also been criticised for his lack of clarity during the hustings, with neither being pinned down about the majority of their policies, especially over Brexit.

Challenged on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme about Islamophobia within the rank and file of the Tories, Hunt said the Government had “led the charge in criticising Jeremy Corbyn for not doing enough to tackle anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, so we must set an example in tackling all prejudice within our party.

“And that’s why the right thing to do is to have that independent inquiry, and get to the bottom of it, and root it out,” he said without making any specific reference that it would be directed solely against the extent of Muslim hate within his party. The Foreign Secretary has previously been ridiculed over his racist language when saying that he originally claimed that he backed a probe into Islamophobia because he wanted to make his partywhiter than white.

An alarming poll published by Hope Not Hate revealed the extent of anti-Muslim sentiment in the Tory party, with some 39 per cent claiming to believe that so-called “Islamist terrorists reflect a widespread hostility to Britain amongst the Muslim community.

Some 40 per cent of Tory party members believed the Government should “lower the number of Muslims entering Britain,” while two-thirds of those questioned (67 per cent) even believed that parts of Britain operate under Sharia Law. Some 45 per cent also thought that there are “no go” areas for non-Muslims in the UK.

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