She was sacked as a transport minister in February 2020
Tory MP Nusrat Ghani has claimed she was sacked from a ministerial role because her “Muslimness was raised as an issue.”
Ghani, who was a transport minister from January 2018 until February 2020 has accused a government whip of telling her that her “Muslim woman minister status was making colleagues feel uncomfortable.”
Since the allegations, Tory MP Mark Spencer has identified himself as the person Ghani has made the claims about, labelling the allegations as “completely false” and “defamatory.”
Ghani became the first female MP to hold her Wealden seat in 2015, winning with a majority of 22,967, but admitted she considered quitting politics after the interaction with the whip.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Ghani, who is now vice-chairwoman of the 1922 Committee, said: “It was like being punched in the stomach. I felt humiliated and powerless.”
“I was told… that there were concerns ‘that I wasn’t loyal to the party as I didn’t do enough to defend the party against Islamophobia allegations’.”
Her claims relate to a meeting in March 2020. When she was asked to use the formal complaints procedure, she declined.
To ensure other Whips are not drawn into this matter, I am identifying myself as the person Nusrat Ghani MP has made claims about this evening.
These accusations are completely false and I consider them to be defamatory. I have never used those words attributed to me
— Mark Spencer (@Mark_Spencer) January 22, 2022
Speaking on Sky’s Trevor Philips on Sunday, Dominic Raab said Ghani should have made a formal complaint.
Raab told the programme her allegation is “incredibly serious” and the government has “absolutely zero tolerance for any discrimination of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party”.
He reiterated Spencer’s denial of the accusation, calling in defamatory.
Raab told the programme: “If there are any claims like this, they should result in a formal complaint which allows a formal investigation to take place, and as the Chief Whip has pointed out, Nusrat has not made a formal complaint. She was asked to do so”.
"We have absolutely zero tolerance for any discrimination of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party".
— Trevor Phillips on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) January 23, 2022
The allegations come just days after another Tory MP, William Wragg, accused the party of ‘blackmailing’ and intimidating MPs who expressed a lack of confidence in Boris Johnson.
The MP for Hazel Grove in Greater Manchester claimed that Tory whips would threaten MPs with the removal of government funding from their constituencies.
These allegations were followed by MP Christian Wakeford saying he was threatened with not getting a high school in his constituency if he did not vote in a certain way.
Wragg has offered his support to Ghani, praising her courage in speaking out.
He tweeted: “Nus is very brave to speak out. I was truly appalled to learn of her experience. She shows such strength and integrity supporting others.
“I am proud to have her as my friend and colleague. We must change things for the better.”
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