No apology and no action taken.
Conservative MP Michael Fabricant has refused to apologise and claims he was misrepresented over a tweet in which he implied Muslims could not be English.
On Wednesday, Fabricant accused the Muslim Council of Britain’s (MCB) Miqdaad Versi of undermining “Anglo-Muslim relations” with his “spite” and “unpleasantness” after Versi criticised the Conservative Party’s “denial, dismissal & deceit” on Islamophobia in their party.
A spokesperson for the MCB said Fabricant’s comments implied that “Muslims are foreign and alien to the English”.
Fabricant later deleted the tweet but refused to apologise and doubled-down on Thursday, claiming he had been misrepresented.
The Conservative Party said they would take no action against the MP. A party spokesperson said: ““Michael Fabricant has clarified his tweet. He is raising an important point about how it is the Labour Party that has been investigated by the EHRC for racism.”
The Conservative Party has not taken action against any of its MPs over Islamophobia. Ahead of the last election, former party chair Sayeeda Warsi said the party was institutionally islamophobic and that she could think of three candidates who should be lose the party whip.
At least five Tory MPs who have been accused of Islamophobia. The most notable is Boris Johnson who compared Muslim women wearing niqabs to letterboxes.
Another is health minister Nadine Dorries, who has been accused of Islamophobia and other forms of racism several times. Dorries blamed London Mayor Sadiq Khan for grooming gangs in Rotherham and Telford – seemingly because Khan is muslim as were those involved in these grooming cases.
Khan was also accused of links to Islamic extremists by his Tory opponent for London Mayor Zac Goldsmith. Goldsmith is a minister for the Pacific and the environment.
The MP for Harrow East Bob Blackman has invited an Indian anti-Muslim extremist to speak in parliament, shared an Islamophobic article from a US anti-muslim website, re-tweeted far-right activist Tommy Robinson and was a member of several Islamophobic facebook groups.
South Cambridgeshire MP and former Boris Johnson aide Antony Browne said in 2002 that British muslims have divided loyalties over the Iraq War.
A Muslim Tory councillor claimed the party’s London Mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey told him to “suck it up” after he complained about Islamophobia in the party. Bailey denies using this phrase.
There is also a problem of Islamophobia in the party’s grassroots. In July, a YouGov poll showed 57% of party members had a negative view towards Muslims and almost half think that Islam is a threat to the “British way of life”.
The Equality and Human Rights Committee was going to hold an inquiry into the problem but dropped those plans after the party committed to its own inquiry, which the MCB described as a “facade”.
Joe Lo is a co-editor of Left Foot Forward
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