UK lawmaker says she was fired as a minister because of her “Muslimness” | News

Nusrat Ghani, a former junior transport minister, says her Muslim faith has made her colleagues uncomfortable.

A British MP says she was fired from a ministerial job in the conservative government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in part because her Muslim faith made her colleagues uncomfortable, according to the Sunday Times.

Forty-nine-year-old Nusrat Ghani, who lost her job as junior transport minister in February 2020, told the newspaper she was whipped – to impose parliamentary discipline – that her “Muslimness” had been raised as a problem.

“I was told at the Downing Street relocation meeting that ‘Muslimism’ was raised as a ‘problem’, that my status as a ‘Muslim minister’ made colleagues feel uncomfortable,” Gani, the first Muslim woman minister, was quoted as saying. as saying.

“I will not pretend that this has not shaken my faith in the party, and sometimes I have seriously considered whether to continue as an MP.

There was no immediate response to her comments from the prime minister’s office, but Mark Spencer, the government’s chief whip, said he was the man at the center of Ghani’s accusations.

“These allegations are completely untrue and I consider them defamatory,” he said on Twitter. “I have never used those words that are attributed to me.”

In response, Spencer said Ghani had refused to raise the issue with a formal internal investigation when she first raised the issue last March.

Ghani’s remarks came after William Ragg, one of her conservative colleagues, accused government whips of trying to blackmail lawmakers who were trying to force Johnson to step down over public anger over parties at his Downing Street office. during COVID blocking.

The scandals have exhausted public support from both Johnson and his party, facing him in the most serious crisis of his presidency.

Johnson said he had neither seen nor heard evidence to support Wragg’s allegations. His office said they would look at any such evidence “very carefully.”

British Prime Minister Boris JohnsonThe scandals drew public support from both Johnson and his party [File: Reuters]

Accusations of Islamophobia

The Conservative Party has previously faced accusations of Islamophobia, and a report from May last year criticized it for dealing with complaints of discrimination against Muslims.

The report prompted Johnson to issue a qualified apology for any crime caused by his previous remarks on Islam, including a column in a newspaper in which he mentioned women wearing burqas as “circling like mailboxes.”

Leader’s main opposition leader, Keir Starmer, said the Conservatives should investigate Ghani’s account immediately.

“It’s shocking to read,” he said on Twitter.

Ghani’s comments on the whips’ behavior reflect allegations made by Wragg.

“Nuss is very brave to speak. “I was really horrified to learn about her experience,” Rag said on Twitter on Saturday. He told the Daily Telegraph that he would meet with police early next week to discuss his allegations.

“As with all such allegations, if a crime is reported to the Metropolitan, it will be investigated,” said a spokesman for the London Police.

Johnson, who won the largest majority of his party in more than 30 years in 2019, is struggling to strengthen his authority following scandals with the “party gate”, followed by criticism of the government’s tackling of corruption and other missteps.

He repeatedly apologized for the parties and said he was not familiar with many of them, but admitted that he had attended what he said was a work event on May 20 last year, when social mixing was largely banned. The invitations had asked employees to “bring their own alcohol” to the event.

Senior civil servant Sue Gray is expected to present a report on the blocking parties next week, with many Conservative MPs saying they would wait for her findings before deciding whether to take action to oust Johnson.

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