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Tories accused of ‘sweeping Islamophobia under the carpet’ after quietly reinstating 15 suspended councillors

Party’s disciplinary process under intense scrutiny after refusal to publish information

Monday 25 March 2019 15:21 GMT
The Conservatives have been told to launch an urgent inquiry into Islamophobia in the party

The Conservative party has been accused of attempting to “sweep Islamophobia under the carpet” after quietly reinstating 15 councillors suspended over racist or prejudiced social media posts.

The party’s disciplinary process has now come under intense scrutiny as CCHQ refused to publish details of their investigations.

They argued selective cases did not provide a complete picture but after a spate of suspensions it has been found in the majority of cases where a councillor was reprimanded they were later readmitted to the party, according to The Guardian.

The Muslim Council of Britain, who have repeatedly called for an independent inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party, said this showed the Tories “cared more about public image than stopping racism”.

“There is little doubt that the party wants to sweep the issue of Islamophobia under the carpet,” an MCB spokesperson told The Independent.

“Together with the number of new cases in the past two weeks, the lack of action when many complaints are raised in private and the denial across the party, the position that there is no institutional problem is not tenable.”

The MCB added they had “no trust” the Conservatives wanted to tackle the issue.

“The party appears to care more about the public image than stopping racism have a hold in the party. At the very minimum they need to have an independent inquiry as there is no trust that the chair of the party has any willingness to commit to any action other than repeatedly issuing platitudes."

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'

CCHQ has refused to publish details about their disciplinary process, arguing it was “rightly” confidential.

A Conservative spokesman said: “Discrimination or abuse of any kind is wrong. When CCHQ has been made aware of the small number of such cases we have acted swiftly, suspending members and launching immediate investigations, in sharp contrast to other parties.

“Our complaints process is rightly a confidential one but there are a wide range of sanctions to challenge and change behaviour, including conditions to undertake training, a period of suspension and expulsion, and these are applied on a case-by-case basis.”

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