U.K: Former Minister Nusrat Ghani Accuses Conservative Party Of 'Islamophobia', Says She Was Sacked From Government Due To Her ‘Muslimness’

by Swarajya Staff - Jan 24, 2022 07:28 PM +05:30 IST
U.K: Former Minister Nusrat Ghani Accuses Conservative Party Of 'Islamophobia', Says She Was Sacked From Government Due To Her ‘Muslimness’  Nusrat Ghani
Snapshot
  • A former minister Nusrat Ghani, who was sacked as a junior transport minister in a cabinet reshuffle in 2020, claimed she was informed by Tory whips that her “Muslimness” was “making colleagues uncomfortable”.

In fresh trouble for the already embattled British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and dissension-riven ruling Conservative Party, a former minister accused him and senior party officials of failing to investigate Islamophobia within ranks of his government.

A former minister Nusrat Ghani, who was sacked as a junior transport minister in a cabinet reshuffle in 2020, claimed she was informed by Tory whips that her “Muslimness” was “making colleagues uncomfortable”.

"I was told that at the reshuffle meeting in Downing Street that ‘Muslimness’ was raised as an ‘issue’, that my ‘Muslim women minister’ status was making colleagues uncomfortable and that there were concerns that I wasn’t loyal to the party as I didn’t do enough to defend the party against Islamophobia allegations." Ghani told the Sunday Times in an interview

Ghani claimed that when she challenged this contention, pointing out there was little she could do about her identity, she was subjected to a tirade on 'how hard it was to define when people are being racist and that the party doesn’t have a problem and I needed to do more to defend it.'

"It was very clear to me that the whips and No 10 were holding me to a higher threshold of loyalty than others because of my background and faith." she added.

The Conservative chief whip, Mark Spencer, has identified himself as the person accused of making the remarks. “These accusations are completely false and I consider them to be defamatory. I have never used those words attributed to me,” he clarified in a tweet.

Responding to Ghani's claims, a spokesperson of Prime Minister's office said: “The Conservative party does not tolerate prejudice or discrimination of any kind.”

While acknowledging that Ghani had raised the issue to Johnson during a meeting in 2020, the Prime Minister 's office said that he had encouraged her to make a formal complaint with the Conservative party.

Ghani, who has received public support from ministers Nadhim Zahawi and Sajid Javid, however maintains that 10, Downing Street did not respond 'appropriately' to her alllegations.

First Muslim elected as Tory MP

In 2015, Ghani became the first Muslim woman elected as a Tory MP. She was elected from the Conservative pocketborough of Wealden, East Sussex.

Born in Kashmir to Pakistani parents, Ghani worked in an investment bank, charities and the BBC World Service, before taking plunge in to electoral politics. She was elevated as assistant whip and transport minister in 2018 under Theresa May,

Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. Subscribe here.

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber
Comments ↓
Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. Subscribe here.
Advertisement

Latest Articles

    Artboard 4Created with Sketch.