Nusrat Ghani: UK Labour Party says Boris Johnson's inquiry 'not enough'

Nusrat Ghani: UK Labour Party says Boris Johnson's inquiry 'not enough'
Dodds also called for the Tories to remove the whip from backbench MP Michael Fabricant after his 'appalling comments' on Ghani's claims of Islamophobia.
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Labour's Anneliese Dodds was responding Boris Johnson's ordering an inquiry [Leon Neal/Getty-archive]

The UK's Labour Party said more needs to be done after Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday ordered an inquiry into a Conservative MP's claim she was sacked partly since her Muslim faith was making colleagues uncomfortable.

Tory lawmaker Nusrat Ghani, 49, alleged to The Sunday Times that a Government whip – an enforcer of parliamentary disciplinary – told her that her "Muslimness" had been raised as an issue in her February 2020 firing.

Chief whip Mark Spencer then identified himself as the person at the centre of the allegations. He denied Ghani's claims, calling them completely false and defamatory.

Labour's Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary Anneliese Dodds said in a statement Monday that the inquiry did not go far enough.

"This inquiry is welcome, but doesn’t replace the need for an immediate investigation into whether the Chief Whip broke the ministerial code," Dodds said.

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The ministerial code is the set of rules UK ministers must abide by.

Dodds called for the whip to be removed from backbench Conservative MP Michael Fabricant over "appalling comments" he made on Sunday.

Speaking to the LBC broadcaster Fabricant claimed Ghani's allegation "stinks".

"I mean, she's hardly someone who's obviously a Muslim. I had no idea what religion she is," he said.

Fabricant, who described "prejudice of any kind" as "pretty pathetic", said ministers are let go for several reasons, including to revitalise the frontbench.

He also claimed: "It's not only… open season on the whip's office.

"I think, far more importantly, all this is because it's open season on Boris Johnson and putting pressure on him from the party to try and get him to resign."

Boris Johnson is under serious pressure amid allegations a series of parties were held in Downing Street while coronavirus restrictions were in force in late 2020 and 2021.

(The New Arab, Reuters)