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Friday, December 06, 2019

Tory Ministers backing Islamophobia

The Prime Minister may claim that the Tory Party have zero tolerance for candidates and members who exhibit Islamophobic tendencies, but somebody appears to have failed to pass that message onto his ministers.

As the Guardian reports, at least four ministers have gone on election campaigning trips to endorse Tory candidates facing allegations of Islamophobia since the claims against them came to light:

In constituency visits that appear to contradict Boris Johnson’s repeated claim that the party has a “zero tolerance” stance on the issue, Sajid Javid, Matt Hancock, Andrea Leadsom and Thérèse Coffey have thrown their weight behind the accused candidates – all of whom are fighting in key marginal battlegrounds.

Incidents include one candidate who argued that Muslims have divided loyalties, as well as blaming immigrants for bringing HIV to Britain, and another who retweeted posts from former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson.

Johnson himself has also posed shaking hands with a Conservative candidate accused of sending an anti-Muslim tweet to Nobel Peace prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, 22. It is understood the photograph was taken after the party became aware of the tweet.

Nick Lowles, chief executive of anti-racism charity Hope Not Hate, is absolutely right when he says: “For Conservative Cabinet members to be campaigning openly for candidates who are facing serious accusations of anti-Muslim prejudice is nothing short of hypocrisy after Boris Johnson promised a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to Islamophobia.

“There is no question that many of the individuals concerned should have been suspended and no responsible politician should be helping them into parliament – they should be doing the opposite and stopping them.”

As with Labour over anti-Semitism, it seems that the Tory Party are incapable of resolving this issue and getting their own house in order.
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