Corbyn urges inquiry into allegations of Tory Islamophobia
The Labour leader backed calls for an investigation after Home Secretary Sajid Javid rejected the proposition of an inquiry.
Jeremy Corbyn has called for an inquiry into allegations of Islamophobia within the Conservative Party.
The Tories have been under pressure since the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) called for an investigation, highlighting a range of claims including candidates and other representatives allegedly having far-right connections or sending offensive tweets.
The Labour leader backed calls for an investigation on Monday night after Home Secretary Sajid Javid rejected the proposition of an inquiry, which gained support from Conservative Peer Baroness Warsi.
“I think if there are allegations made then an inquiry should be held and it should be addressed and it should be dealt with,” Mr Corbyn told the Press Association at a west London mosque.
“Islamophobia, as with anti-Semitism, as with any other form of racism, has no place whatsoever in our society or in any of our political parties. Nobody should be condoning it, nobody should be hiding it, everybody should be exposing it.”
He highlighted reported rises of Islamophobic hate crimes, and added: “Let’s dedicate ourselves, during Ramadan, to say we will drive out Islamophobia from our society.”
Mr Corbyn was speaking at the Al-Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre in Westbourne Park after an evening meal for Muslims to end their daily Ramadan fast.
We are calling for an independent inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party following more than weekly occurrences of Islamophobia in the party last month pic.twitter.com/ymkFRDs5sF— MCB (@MuslimCouncil) May 30, 2018
The opposition leader has himself come under pressure over allegations of anti-Semitism in his own party, leading Prime Minister Theresa May to accuse him of allowing it to “run rife”.
The MCB’s general secretary Harun Khan last week wrote to the Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis, saying there had been “more than weekly occurrences of Islamophobia” by Tory figures in April.
Mr Khan also highlighted Zac Goldsmith’s unsuccessful bid against Labour’s Sadiq Khan to become Mayor of London in 2016, claiming there had been no action against those responsible for “shocking Islamophobia” during the campaign.
Rejecting the calls, Mr Javid told the Andrew Marr Show the MCB did not represents Muslims in the UK.
He added: “I would be very suspicious of anything that they’ve got to say, not least because under the last Labour government and a policy continued by us, we don’t deal with the MCB and we don’t deal with it because too many of their members have had, you know, comments on extremists and that’s not acceptable.”