Since Sajid Javid appeared before the inquisition of the host on The Andy Marr Show (tm) and proclaimed that the Tories did not deal with the Muslim Council of Britain - which wasn’t entirely true - The Blue Team has done next to nothing to deal with the rising tide of criticism of its inertia in tackling Islamophobia within its ranks.
Brandon Lewis - ignorant spiv
Indeed, party Chairman Brandon “Barrow Boy” Lewis has not even given the MCB the courtesy of a reply to their last letter to him. As Sky News has reported, “Muslim leaders have accused the Conservative chair Brandon Lewis of ignoring calls to set up an inquiry into Islamophobia in the party … The Muslim Council of Britain has written its second letter to him, saying it is ‘deeply disappointed’ at not having received a reply or acknowledgement of their demand.” And there was more.
Ben Bradley - bigotry swept under the carpet
“Harun Khan, secretary general of the group which represents more than 1,000 mosques and Muslim institutions, said some victims of Islamophobia were afraid to raise their concerns, risking ‘political suicide’ … In the letter seen by Sky News, Mr Khan said: ‘This is a sad state of affairs for our democracy and we hope they can be taken up in an independent inquiry.’” The Tories still won’t have that inquiry.
Sayeeda Warsi - ignored by her own party
And at PMQs today, Afzal Khan, who represents Manchester Gorton, put it to Theresa May directly. “Three weeks have passed since the Muslim Council of Britain wrote to the chair of the Conservative Party, to raise concerns about Islamophobia in the party, and they are yet to receive a reply. He has also failed to respond to my letter of the 16th June following reports of what looked like an attempt by Tory Headquarters to cover up allegations about one of the Conservative Party vice chairs [Ben Bradley]”.
La la la, the PM can't hear you
There was more. “Does the Prime Minister agree with Baroness Warsi and the Conservative Muslim Forum that the Conservative Party is in denial about Islamophobia in its ranks?” Theresa May pointedly bodyswerved the question, failing to even go near the shamefully ignorant behaviour of her party Chairman. But, she claimed, Brandon Lewis had met TellMAMA. They would investigate any allegations of Islamophobia.
But of the inquiry there is nothing. Anyone might think the Tories are deliberately ignoring the problem in the hope that it will go away. But it will not. The MCB have now asked “Since our letter to the Conservative Party three weeks ago, more incidents of Islamophobia have come to light and a wide range of organisations have backed the call into an independent inquiry. Will @BrandonLewis now listen to this wide range of voices and initiate an inquiry?” And Miqdaad Versi of the MCB has a question for Brandon Lewis.
“Does @BrandonLewis really think the new widespread evidence of Islamophobia across different sections of the @Conservatives will magically disappear if he ignores @MuslimCouncil?” The Tories were quick to jump on the Labour Party and demand inquiries after accusations of anti-Semitism. Now that the boot is so firmly on the other foot, they don’t want to know. And that’s not good enough.
The Tories have a racism problem. The first thing they need to do is admit it.