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Boris Johnson fueled impression UK Tories ‘insensitive’ to Muslims: Report

Published: (Updated: ) in European News by .

The report called for an overhaul of Conservative complaints processes.

LONDON — U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson helped fuel the impression his governing Conservative Party is “insensitive to Muslim communities,” a report into Islamophobia in its ranks has concluded. 

Before becoming prime minister, Johnson caused outrage when writing a newspaper column in which he said women wearing burqas looked like “bank robbers” and “letterboxes.” The report he later commissioned, published Tuesday, said such “high profile incidents” had not helped public perceptions of the party. 

The report said that overall there was no evidence to suggest the Conservative Party itself is institutionally racist — but it found there are continuing problems within its ranks and called for an overhaul of the party’s complaints processes.

“The party’s approach to challenging discrimination has been reactive, driven by media attention rather than by the seriousness of the allegations themselves, and has focused on ‘firefighting’ rather than on action as part of a clear strategic vision and plan,” the report, by Swaran Singh, a former commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, concluded.

“Identifying, challenging and rooting out discrimination should be the active business of every member, and the party leadership should lead by example.”

The report calls on the Conservatives to improve their complaints system; boost transparency; implement a party-wide code of conduct; and increase training.

The Conservative Party recorded more than 1,400 complaints relating to more than 700 incidents of alleged discrimination between 2015 and 2020, the report found, two-thirds of which were related to anti-Muslim discrimination. 

But the report said “no evidence was found to support the suggestion that the party had collectively or systematically failed any particular community or group in its processes for dealing with complaints relating to protected characteristics, including race, religion or belief, or specifically Islam.”

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“Our report should make for uncomfortable reading for the Party and, more importantly, spur it into action,” Singh said in a statement.

A Conservative spokesperson said: “The party is considering the recommendations set out by the report. We will respond later today.”

Source: POLITICO https://www.politico.eu/article/uk-prime-minister-boris-johnson-fueled-impression-uk-tories-insensitive-muslims-islam-communities-islamaphobia-conservative-party/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication

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