UK | Boris Johnson issues personal apology to Muslims after internal investigation finds Conservative Party institutionally “Anti-Muslim”

al sahwat times boris johnson number 10

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson issues personal apology to Muslims, after internal report calling the ruling Conservative Party institutionally “Anti-Muslim”

UK | Tories | Conservative Party | Boris Johnson | Islamophobia 

The Conservative Party, also known as the Tories, are the governing, majority political party in the UK. Boris Johnson is the party leader and Prime Minister of the UK. 

Following a damming report in which the Conservatives were found to be institutionally “Anti-Muslim”, British Prime Minister has issued a public and personal “qualified” apology over his own extreme and racist remarks about muslims.

Boris Johnson was interviewed by the investigators as part of the report.

The investigation was lead by Professor Swaran Singh who has served as a Commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The report personally named Boris Johnson and even cited quotes form him as examples of extreme racism and Islamophobia.

Boris’ apology however fell short stating:

“I do know that offence has been taken at things I’ve said.” 

“but in journalism you need to use language freely” (The UK has some of the world’s stricter laws on what journalists can and can not public, with threats of national secrets and terrorism laws being used against those outspoken against the UK government.)

“I am obviously sorry for any offence taken.”

The investigation responds and concludes:

“Judging by the extent of complains and findings of misconduct by the Party itself that relate to anti-Muslim words and conduct, anti-Muslim sentiment remains a problem within the Party”

Professor Singh analysed 1’418 complains relating to 727 separate and independent incidents between 2015 and 2020.

In the 44’000 word report on the findings of the independent investigation in to racism and Islamophobia within the Government, specifically the ruling Conservative Party, Professor Singh stated:

“This is damaging to the Party and alienates a significant section of society.”

In 2019 all five candidates for the then Conservative leadership contest, committed to a full independent investigation into institutional racism within the Party.

Professor Singh additionally concluded:

  • Two-thirds of all incidents reported to the Tories’ headquarters’ complaints team related to allegations of “anti-Muslim discrimination.”
  • The Conservative complaints system is “in need of overhaul” due to its “under-resourced and inadequately trained” complaints team, a “weak data collection system, and poor communication between officials, complainants and respondents.”
  • There is a “lack of transparency” in the complaints process, while there are no clear guidelines as to which behaviours should attract sections if any.

Professor Singh continues:

“Change will be a difficult process that will require a completely new mindset in some quarters, and one that some Party members may not like.” 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson who has referred to Muslim women as “Letterboxes and Bank Robbers” whilst referring to the black community as having “watermelon smiles” and the LGBTQ+ community as “tank-top wearing bum boys”, was cited extensively in the investigation for racist and homophobic remarks.

Lord Goldsmith accused Boris of running a “racist and Islamophobic” campaign against Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan during the 2021 London mayoral election. Boris himself claims he no longer uses racist or homophobic language since becoming Prime Minister.

Professor Singh has called for the Conservatives to publish an action plan within the next six weeks to set out how it will tackle the institutional failings he found in his investigation.

Within the next six months, Professor Singh further recommended that the Conservatives produce and implement a new code of conduct for all Party members.

Within the next twelve months, the recommendations continue to request each Party association give equality training to at least one named member.

Tory former cabinet minister, Baroness Warsi – who has long campaigned on the issue of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party and previously questioned Professor Singh’s suitability top oversea the investigation – said the “crucial” detail of the report “tells a story that headlines do not.”

“Each section reveals a deep and embedded issue of a Party at best unable and worst unwilling to deal with the issue of racism.” 

Ex-Chancellor Said Javid, who was one of the 2019 Tory leadership candidates to commit to this investigation, called on the Tories to adopt Professor Singh’s recommendations “unconditionally and in full.”

From treatment in schools, to corporate progression, the way Police handle complaints and routine stops to the way Muslims are screened and surveilled has come under growing international scrutiny in the UK.

According to the UK Office of National Statistic the UK is 5.2% Muslim, or around one in every 20 people. Giving the UK a small Muslim minority. Yet 2 in 3 of all racist incidents relating to the Tories are against Muslims according to Professor Sign’s report.

© 2021 Al-Sahawat Times, Printed and Distributed by IPMG, an Al-Said Group entity. 

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About the Author

Ruksha Ali