Tory peer warns failure to address islamophobia risks damaging party in next election after report that BAME voters feel unwelcome in Conservative Party

Baroness Warsi, the Conservative Party’s first female Muslim minister gave Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis and the Prime Minister a stark warning for her party.

The senior Tory peer called for an independent inquiry into “institutional” Islamophobia in the party.

Former minister Baroness Warsi warned that the party’s failure to address the growing crisis within its ranks risked damaging Conservative chances at the next election.


Baronness Sayeeda Warsi  (c) Home Office

Last year the Executive Committee of the Conservative Muslim Forum added its voice to calls from over 350 mosques and Muslim organisations all over the Muslim community for an independent investigation into Islamophobia in the Tory party. 

The party suspended 14 members this week for sickening islamophobic comments on social media.

Speaking to Talk Radio, Baroness Warsi said “I’m not holding my breath,” when asked if Theresa May would show leadership over the mounting crisis.

Demanding an independent inquiry into islamophobia, Warsi appealed to her colleagues not to deny the problem, adding “when you deny the problem you are part of the problem.”

Turning to accusations of anti-semitism and the Labour Party’s , Baroness Warsi added “I am sure there are individual members of parliament in Labour who have never experienced any form of anti-semitism in their constituency. For them to then superimpose that on the whole Labour Party and then say therefore there is no such thing as anti-semitism in the Labour Party, we would be horrified.

“And therefore I am really disappointed with colleagues who say ‘I have not seen it.'”

Criticising Conservative colleague Nicky Morgan who denied racism in the Tory party this week, she added: “I have a lot of time for Nicky Morgan. But with all due respect, Nicky Morgan’s experience of experiencing islamophobia and anti-muslim sentiment will be slightly different to my experience of experiencing islamophobia and anti-muslim sentiment.

“And if she can’t understand that and she can’t acknowledge when we have a huge amount of evidence which clearly shows there is a problem, denial is part of the problem.”

Demanding an independent inquiry into institutional islamophobia in teh Tory Party, she called on her party to: “grow the moral courage to say this is an issue, otherwise we are slowly becoming a party which the Runnymede Trust report last week showed is not a welcome place for Black Asian and Minorities [BAME] people. That report from last week showed that the Labour Party is picking up 77% of the BAME vote.”

“That should horrify us,” said Baroness Warsi, adding that tackling racism to stop BAME voters deserting the Conservative Party “should keep [Tory Party Chairman] Brandon Lewis up at night… if he can’t find the moral courage to do this, he should find the political courage to do this.”

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