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Conservatives facing more than 100 allegations of Islamophobia and racism made against party members

Baroness Warsi says number of cases shows ‘the party has got something to hide’

Peter Stubley
Saturday 18 May 2019 19:04 BST
Sayeeda Warsi on the Islamophobia claims in the Conservative Party: 'I wanted this matter to be dealt with internally, that’s why for two years this did not become public'

More than 100 people claiming to be members of the Conservative Party have posted Islamophobic or racist comments online, it has been revealed.

The allegations, compiled by a researcher on social media, includes posts describing Muslims as “aliens” whose “plan is to turn this country into an Islamic state”.

Other comments include: ”We don’t have a politician strong enough in the UK to lead us away from this infestation,” and: ”We are letting our children down by allowing this cult to take over our country.”

It is believed to be the first comprehensive collection of allegations made so far and contains posts made by 110 people, mostly over the last two years. Nineteen were described as “fresh allegations” by ITV News, which was handed the dossier by Twitter user @MatesJacob.

The Conservative Party disputes whether some of those involved are party members and claims the others have either been dealt with or are under investigation.

But Baroness Syeed Warsi, former co-chair of the party, said the dossier showed the issue was “widespread and deep” and “clearly shows the party has got something to hide”.

“The party have to first and foremost acknowledge the extent of the problem,” Baroness Warsi told ITV News. “They then have to be transparent about the process that is being adopted.

“They need to have a measure, a definition of Islamophobia against which they measure these vile comments, and then they need to send out a very clear signal that racists and bigots will have no home in our party.”

Baroness Warsi also said the party had refused to tell her the number of complaints it had received.

It comes after the Tories were accused of trying to “sweep Islamophobia under the carpet” by quietly reinstating 15 councillors who had been suspended over racist or prejudiced social media posts.

The Conservatives have also faced criticism for refusing to adopt a definition of Islamophobia that classifies discrimination against Muslims as a form of racism.

And earlier this week the Equality and Human Rights Commission wrote to the Conservative Party requesting information on complaints about Islamophobia.

Labour MP Afzal Khan MP said it was “absolutely disgraceful to see the overwhelming amount of cases of Islamophobia from Tory members.”

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He tweeted: “If the Tories want to help define Islamophobia, perhaps they should investigate it within their own ranks first!”

A spokesman for the Conservative Party said: “A substantial number of these people are not members. Any other party members on this list have either already been suspended, expelled or are under investigation.

“Our complaints process is rightly a confidential one but where we find evidence of members making abusive or discriminatory posts, we take swift action.”

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