No.10 Orders Inquiry Into Former Minister's Allegations Of Islamophobia

"The prime minister takes these claims very seriously," Downing Street said.
Nusrat Ghani, former minister, has made allegations against No.10
Nusrat Ghani, former minister, has made allegations against No.10
Handout . via Reuters

Nusrat Ghani’s allegations of islamophobia in Downing Street will now be the subject of an inquiry by a senior civil servant.

The Tory MP claimed a government whip said Ghani’s faith was a reason for her sacking from government back in 2020.

She alleged that her “Muslimness was raised as an issue” as it was “making colleagues uncomfortable”. Tory chief whip Mark Spencer has since come forward and said he was the subject of her claims, but that her allegations were completely false and “defamatory”.

On Monday, No.10 confirmed it was launching an investigation into her allegations, which was welcomed by Ghani.

It said: “The prime minister has asked the Cabinet Office to conduct an inquiry into the allegations made by Nusrat Ghani MP.

“At the time these allegations were first made, the prime minister recommended to her that she make a formal complain to CCHQ. She did not take up this offer.

“The prime minister has now asked officials to establish the facts about what happened.

“As he said at the time, the prime minister takes these claims very seriously.”

Ghani tweeted in response: “As I said to the prime minister last night all I want is for this to be taken seriously and for him to investigate. I welcome his decision to do that now.

“The terms of reference of the inquiry must include all that was said in Downing Street and by the Whip. I look forward to seeing the terms of reference.”

No.10 has also alleged that back in 2020, the prime minister spoke with the Tory MP over her concerns and then wrote to Ghani “expressing his serious concern and inviting her to begin a formal complaint process”, which she chose not to do.

Ghani then released a statement in response, alleging Johnson “wrote to me that he could not get involved and suggested I use the internal Conservative Party complaint process”.

She said she did not follow this advice because it was “very clearly not appropriate for something that happened on government business”.

Ghani explained: “I do not even know if the words that were conveyed to me about what was said in reshuffle meetings at Downing Street were by members of the Conservative Party.

“All I have ever wanted was for his government to take this seriously, investigate properly and ensure no other colleague has to endure this.”

She has also said she did not pursue the matter in 2020 because she was told if she “persisted”, she “would be ostracised and her career and reputation would be destroyed”.

“I raised it several more times through official party channels...I was extremely careful to follow procedure and when the procedure ran out of road I had no choice but to get on with my career,” the Wealden MP said.

Ghani became the first female Muslim minister to speak in the Commons after she was appointed to the Department of Transport in 2018.


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