UK: Govt Minister’s meeting with MCB Sec Gen was not official

23rd Feb 2021
UK: Govt Minister’s meeting with MCB Sec Gen was not official

By Ahmed J Versi

 

London, (The Muslim News): Whitehall said Tuesday that Penny Mordaunt’s meeting with Muslim Council of Britain (MCB)’s newly elected Secretary General, Zara Mohammed, on Friday, was not an official meeting.

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson’s official Spokesman told journalists that the Mordaunt met Mohammed in her capacity as a constituent MP.

“The meeting was in her capacity as a constituent MP and not as a Government Minister,” said the Spokesman without elaborating who in the MCB was in her constituency.

He added that it was a “longstanding policy since 2009” to boycott the MCB. “It is upto the Government to decide which organisation it does or doesn’t meet with as long as it doesn’t act unlawfully,” he said.

Prime Minister’s Press Secretary, Allegra Stratton, said that she “was not aware of” whether the Minister was spoken to by the Prime Minister regarding the meeting. She added that Mordaunt “met them in capacity as a constituency MP. The Government has a policy of non-engagement” with the MCB.

None of the MCB officials who were in the meeting, including Mohammed, are in Pay Master General’s Portsmouth North constituency.

The Minister tweeted about their meeting:  “Great to have met with @ZaraM01 today, to wish her every success and hear more about her plans.  Look forward to working with her and her team. #IWD2021 [International Women’s Day 2021] @MuslimCouncil”. 

The meeting was requested by the MCB. They met on Zoom on February 19 with two officials from the MCB and one official from the Minister.

Mohammed is the youngest and first woman Secretary General of the MCB, the largest Muslim organisation in the UK.

The Conservative Party has, since 2009, refused to meet with the MCB and continued its policy even after they came into Government in 2010.

 

[Photo: Penny Mordaunt, MP, The Paymaster General and Zara Mohammed, Secretary General of the MCB. Photos:  Penny Mordaunt (Official portrait/UK Parliament) + Zara Mohammed (Photo courtesy of Muslim Council of Britain)]

 

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