- Nusrat Ghani was removed from her role as transport minister in a Cabinet reshuffle in 2020
- She said she was told people in Boris Johnson's government were "uncomfortable with her Muslimness," The Sunday Times reported.
- The Conservative Party has been previously investigated over Islamophobia in the party.
- For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
A Conservative MP has said that she lost her ministerial position in Boris Johnson's government due to her "Muslimness," The Sunday Times reported..
Nusrat Ghani, who in 2015 was the first Muslim woman to be elected a Tory MP, was removed from her role as transport minister in a Cabinet reshuffle in February 2020. She said that a whip told her her "Muslimness was raised as an issue" by people in 10 Downing Street, where they noted her "Muslim woman minister status was making colleagues feel uncomfortable."
The Sunday Times reported Ghani said these comments felt "like being punched in the stomach. I felt humiliated and powerless."The paper also reported these comments made Ghani debate whether or not she wanted to stay in her position as an MP, saying, "I will not pretend that this hasn't shaken my faith in the party."Writing on Twitter, chief whip Mark Spencer identified himself as the person these comments allegedly came from but said, "These accusations are completely false and I consider them to be defamatory."
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
Spencer initially wrote these comments on Twitter, deleted them, and then republished them.
An end to a tumultuous week for the PM
These comments have come at the end of a week of political turmoil for Boris Johnson, as a number of letters have been sent to the Conservative party's 1922 committee — of which Ghani is a vice-chair — calling for a vote of no confidence in the prime minister after media reports that Johnson attended and supported regular parties at 10 Downing Street while the country was in a full Covid-19 lockdown.
Should the committee receive 54 letters, with speculations suggesting around 40 have currently been filed, a vote on the party's trust in the prime minister's fitness to lead will take place.
One MP told Insider's senior political editor Catherine Neilan that they're "not sure the [1922 committee] exec is full of FoBs — Friends of Boris," as the MP suggested that the committee could organise a vote to hinder Boris' chances at success.
"Whereas last time, it was organised to give [Theresa] May support, this time I suspect they are less minded to," the MP, speaking on a condition of anonymity, added.