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Wed Nov 27, 2019, 06:03 AM

Sayeeda Warsi on Tory Islamophobia: 'It feels like I'm in an abusive relationship'

The Tories promised an investigation into anti-Muslim prejudice in the party – then watered it down. How high does the problem go? Disillusioned insiders – and the former party chair – speak out

In June, a message pinged on Tory peer Sayeeda Warsi’s phone. “Right, sorted out that Conservative party Islamophobia investigation!” it read triumphantly. The sender? Sajid Javid, who was then home secretary.

Earlier that evening, during a televised Tory leadership debate, Javid had bounced his fellow contenders, including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, into apparently agreeing to the Conservatives holding an independent inquiry into Islamophobia.

For Lady Warsi, who had tirelessly campaigned against Islamophobia for years, having been the country’s first female Muslim cabinet minister, it was a moment she had longed to see. Unable to contain her delight, she tweeted her thanks to Javid, who now serves as chancellor. “It’s a shame,” she added, “that it’s taken four years and a leadership contest to finally drag my colleagues kicking and screaming to address this issue.”
Now, however, it appears that that commitment has been watered down. Earlier this month, days after Gove insisted that the Tories would “absolutely” hold an independent inquiry into Islamophobia before the end of the year, Johnson performed a U-turn. It would instead be a “general investigation into prejudice of all kinds”.


Instances of various forms of racism among Tory Party members - from sitting councillors to MPs to the Cabinet and Johnson himself - keep coming to light, but there doesn't seem to be the constant media drumbeat that's directed at Labour about these issues.

It's hard not to feel cynically that part of the reason the party won't address these issues more decisively is because for some of those whose votes it's courting, they're a selling point, not a problem.

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Reply Sayeeda Warsi on Tory Islamophobia: 'It feels like I'm in an abusive relationship' (Original post)
Denzil_DC Nov 2019 OP
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