A former Tory MEP has claimed that muslim members of the Conservative party were deliberately excluded from an inquiry into Islamophobia.
Sajjad Karim, who was in the European parliament for 15 years until 2019 representing north-west England, said the report which was released last week and found no reasonable evidence of “institutional Islamophobia” – was a “whitewash”.
Talking to the Guardian’s ‘Politics Weekly’ podcast Mr. Karim said:
“We cannot just rely on internal processes to deliver a result, that’s why I certainly take the view that it’s time for some sort of external light to be shone upon the internal workings of the Conservative party when it comes to these issues.”
During the podcast, Mr. Karim revealed he’d made a “particular complaint” to the party officials before the inquiry began. He was assured he would be contacted, but heard “absolutely nothing” from them. He was later told by CCHQ “we’re very sorry, it’s too late for you to contribute to the inquiry. It was open to the public – but now it’s closed”.
Mr. Karim believes Conservative party leaders may well try to avoid implementing any of the recommendations made by the Professor Swaran Singh’s inquiry. Along with other members, he says they have “no confidence that the party (internally) is willing to actually deal with this issue”.
He also urged Boris Johnson not to pursue an “English nationalist agenda”, and said the apologies from the prime minister for any offence caused – “seemed insincere”.