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Friday, May 20, 2022

Boris Johnson orders investigation into MP’s allegations of Islamophobia

LONDON – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday ordered an investigation into allegations of Islamophobia in his government after a former transport secretary said she lost her job in part because she was “Muslim”.

The accusation has exacerbated tensions engulfing Mr Johnson’s leadership as his government awaits the results of an investigation into Downing Street parties this week during the coronavirus lockdown.

Yielding to mounting pressure, Mr. Johnson ordered a formal inquiry into the dismissal of Transportation Minister Nusrat Ghani, who lost her government job during a February 2020 reshuffle, shortly after Mr. Johnson won a landslide election victory.

In an interview with The Sunday Times this weekend, Ms Ghani told the paper that her “Muslim identity” was cited as one of the reasons she lost her job. She said she was also told that her status as a Muslim woman made others uncomfortable.

The new investigation comes at a time of acute political danger for Mr Johnson as he awaits the results of a separate investigation by senior civil servant Sue Gray into a number of allegations of parties being held on Downing Street. Mr. Johnson is accused of misleading Parliament as to what he knew of these events, and if Gray’s report confirms these accusations, he will come under intense pressure to resign.

Last week, the government’s efforts to bolster its position with a series of political statements were thwarted by allegations that “whips,” lawmakers in charge of party discipline, threatened other conservative lawmakers to support the government.

Christian Wakeford, an MP who recently defected from the Conservatives to the opposition Labor Party, said he was warned that if he voted against the government in the free school meals debate, there would be no school funding in his constituency.

Ms. Ghani’s assertions heightened the sense of a political crisis. She said she was given clarifications regarding her faith when she asked why she was fired, but did not specify who she spoke to.

Writing on Twitter, the government’s top whip Mark Spencer, identified himself as an interested partybut denied the claims. He said he considered the accusations defamatory.

Ms Ghani said in a statement released Sunday that Mr Johnson refused to intervene when the matter was brought before him in June 2020, instead urging her to file a formal complaint with the Conservative Party.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t think about what I’ve been told and wonder why I’m in politics, while hoping the government will take it seriously,” Ms Ghani added. “Those who have not questioned their identity and faith cannot fully appreciate what this does to you.”

In a statement released early Monday morning, Downing Street said Mr Johnson had asked Cabinet to investigate the allegations.

“At the time these allegations were first made, the Prime Minister recommended that she file a formal complaint with the CCHQ,” the statement said, citing the Conservative campaign headquarters, the party’s central office.

He added that Ms Ghani “did not accept the offer”, that Mr Johnson “has now asked officials to establish the facts about what happened”, and that he “takes these allegations very seriously”.

Ms Ghani welcomed the decision in a statement posted on Twitter on Monday, but she said she wanted to see the terms of reference for the investigation, which she argued “should include everything that was said in Downing Street and under the whip”.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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