Brandon Lewis asked if he misled public over Islamophobia complaints
Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis has been asked if he misled the public over his claim that all complaints about incidents of Islamophobia by party members had been dealt with.
Anti-racism campaign group Hope Not Hate has written to Mr Lewis calling for “clarification” after he stated in November: “We deal with complaints, none outstanding.”
Nick Lowles, the group’s chief executive, said he took the statement to mean there were “no complaints of Islamophobia outstanding”, but said: “We now know that this is not true.”
He said there had since been “multiple media reports about outstanding complaints” occurring during the time Mr Lewis made the statement.
Mr Lowles wrote: “Given the seriousness of the problem that the Conservative Party is facing with incidents of Islamophobia by its members, and widespread concern about the behaviour of Boris Johnson MP and Zac Goldsmith MP, it is essential that you clear up exactly why you told Hope Not Hate that there were no outstanding complaints when clearly there were.
“Were you trying to mislead us, and via the statement, members of the public?
“Or are your systems and processes so broken that you did not know your statement was untrue when you made it?
“Either way, it appears clear that the time for a proper, independent inquiry into the Conservative Party’s problems with Islamophobia is now.
“You can show that you take this issue seriously and call that inquiry immediately.”
It comes amid heavy criticism over the Conservative Party’s handling of Islamophobia, with senior Tory peer Baroness Warsi calling for an independent inquiry into “institutional” Islamophobia in the party.