POLITICS
05/03/2020 17:02 GMT

Dossier Of More Than 300 Tory Islamophobia Allegations Submitted To Watchdog

Muslim Council of Britain says the the Tories have a "systemic and widespread" Islamophobia crisis and calls for EHRC probe.

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A new dossier of claims that more than 300 Tories have been Islamophobic has been submitted to the human rights watchdog to persuade it to investigate the party.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has handed the Equality and Human Rights Commission a detailed file including claims involving MPs, councillors, members and government advisers.

The document collects together scores of previously publicised incidents and allegations while uncovering new claims, including:

  • A former councillor calling for “unconditional surrender” by Muslims, who they label “brutes who beat, kill and maim young women”;
  • A local party association chair who called for Muslims to be banned;
  • A member who called for Muslims to be thrown from bridges;
  • Another member who called for the forcible sterilisation of Muslims.

Elsewhere, it includes criticism of the failure to suspend MP Daniel Kawczynski for speaking at a conference alongside far-right leaders.

The MCB also questions the failure to investigate MP Karl McCartney after he shared posts by Tommy Robinson – the English Defence League co-founder whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – and Katie Hopkins that “included anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic material”, despite his apology.

And it highlights HuffPost UK’s revelations that new Tory MP Dehenna Davison had been photographed with two far-right activists, including a former activist banned from the party after making Islamophobic comments online and organising a far-right protest.

MCB secretary general Harun Khan said the Tories have a “systemic and widespread” Islamophobia crisis and accused the party of “denial, dismissal and deceit”.

He criticised the EHRC for having “failed to give any response” to its first formal call to investigate in May when it submitted allegations about 150 individuals, and urged it to now take “swift action”.

The Tories have committed to an inquiry into all forms of discrimination within the party but have resisted calls to set up an independent inquiry into Islamophobia specifically.

Khan said it was “extraordinary” that the watchdog has not announced whether it will take action in the 10 months since the first document was submitted.

“There is no doubt that the Conservative party has an Islamophobia crisis: it is institutional, systemic and widespread. 

“The party’s response has been one of denial, dismissal and deceit,” he said.

“This results in clear discrimination against Muslims because of their religion.

“The absence of meaningful action by the Conservative Party despite the wealth of evidence makes it all the more important that the EHRC recognises the impact of this level of Islamophobia in our governing party, and takes swift action.”

An EHRC spokesperson said the watchdog was still waiting for the Tories to reveal the terms of its inquiry while considering a decision.

“We are actively considering what, if any, action we may take in relation to the handling of Islamophobia and other discrimination within the Conservative party,” she said.

“We are also awaiting the final terms of reference of the party’s independent review which we will consider as part of our decision making process.”

A Conservative party spokesperson said: “The Conservative Party has a robust approach to discrimination of any kind, and consistently takes decisive action to deal with any incidents of hatred, abuse or intimidation.

“We are holding an independent review which is looking at how we can improve our processes – to make sure that any instances are isolated, and that there are thorough processes in place to stamp them out as and when they occur.”

The EHRC is currently investigating Labour over allegations of anti-Semitism.