Daily Express

Watchdog rules out Tory Islamophob­ia probe ‘at this stage’

- By Sam Lister Deputy Political Editor

A WATCHDOG yesterday rejected calls to investigat­e the Conservati­ve Party for Islamophob­ia as an independen­t probe is already being carried out.

Campaigner­s had asked for an inquiry by the Equality and Human Rights Commission into the Tories.

The equalities watchdog said it had given “very careful considerat­ion” to complaints raised about discrimina­tion and Islamophob­ia in the party.

But the EHRC said there was no need for a probe while a review ordered by Tory party chiefs was being conducted.

A spokesman said: “We have concluded, in the light of the decision by the party to institute an independen­t investigat­ion, that it would not be proportion­ate to initiate our own investigat­ion at this stage.

“We will be monitoring the review and requiring the party to provide regular updates on progress.

“If we are not satisfied with progress or how the investigat­ion is conducted we will review our decision and do not rule out the use of our legal powers.”

The independen­t probe will look at the volume and type of complaints made against the party and its members and volunteers.

It will also consider how the Tories have dealt with them.

Swaran Singh, professor of social and community psychiatry at the University of Warwick, is running the review. He said: “I’m happy that the terms of reference for the investigat­ion have been agreed and I will now begin work on the next stage of the investigat­ion.” Tory co-chairman Amanda Milling insisted the party was committed to the review.

She said: “The Conservati­ve Party will never stand by when it comes to prejudice and discrimina­tion of any kind. It is why we are committed to this investigat­ion, to ensure that any abuse that is not fit for public life is stamped out.”

But Baroness Warsi, a former Tory chairwoman, has said Islamophob­ia runs “deep and wide” among Conservati­ves and accused the party leaders of allowing it to fester.

 ??  ?? Independen­t probe...Professor Singh, Baroness Warsi and Amanda Milling
Independen­t probe...Professor Singh, Baroness Warsi and Amanda Milling
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