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Tory MP says Islamophobia claims against party are political

PICTURED: Kemi Badenoch

KEMI BADENOCH, one of the vice chairs of the Conservative Party has come under fire for her comments about Islamophobia accusations being politically motivated.

Badenoch, the MP for Saffron Walden, was responding to the Muslim Council of Britain’s investigation into anti-Muslim prejudice within the Conservative Party when she made the statements.

The MCB has called for an independent probe into the matter of anti-Muslim prejudice.

In an interview with Sky’s Sophy Ridge, Badenoch said: "I don't think the Muslim Council of Britain is an organisation that would look very favourably on the Conservative Party anyway.

"So, I think there's probably a political motive there. When I have looked at the cases we've talked about, I have seen strong investigations that have been done fairly.

"There are many people in the party who are Muslims who don't recognise the allegations about Islamophobia."

Badenoch’s comments have incensed politicians on both sides of the political divide.

Former Conservative chair Sayeeda Warsi tweeted: “What is the point of diversity Conservatives if it doesn’t understand or reflect the experiences of a large majority of the BAME communities that make up Britain? Diversity isn’t an individual ‘I’m alright Jack’ moment it’s about representation that makes us collectively better.”

She added: “The was a time we denied racism existed within our party, there was a time we denied homophobia was deep rooted- we now deny Islamophobia. A lot Conservatives get right but sadly we always find ourselves on the wrong side of history when it comes to the right of minorities.”

Opposition MPs were also among those who shared their views on Badenoch’s comments.

Labour MP for Manchester Gorton and shadow immigration minister Afzal Khan tweeted: “Kemi Badenoch conveniently forgets to mention that the [Conservative Muslim Forum] have also called for an inquiry into Islamophobia in the Tory Party - these are their own Muslim members saying there is a systemic problem with anti-Muslim racism, yet the party still chooses not to act!”

Wes Streeting, Labour MP for Ilford North, tweeted: “For crying out loud. Concern about the Tories’ approach to tackling Islamophobia is widely felt and deeply felt within the Muslim community. This sort of dismissal and deflection is the same rubbish I hear within the Labour Party about anti-semitism, Kemi Badenoch. Sort it out.”

In a statement, the MCB, which is currently marking Islamophobia Awareness Month, said: "The MCB has questioned why Conservative Party representatives are so keen to shoot the messenger but not keen to deal with Islamophobia within the Party?"

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