LONDON: A probe into allegations of Islamophobia in the UK’s ruling Conservative Party will be delayed until the appointment of a new leader, outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.
Muslim Conservative MP Nusrat Ghani said six months ago that she was approached by a government whip after losing her ministerial position, and was told that her faith had left colleagues “feeling uncomfortable.” Ghani added that her loyalty to the party was questioned due to her faith.
The conversation felt like “being punched in the stomach,” she said, leaving her feeling “humiliated and powerless.”
Following the allegations, Johnson launched an inquiry in January. But on Tuesday he said the investigation had yet to be completed due to the resignation in June of Lord Geidt, the chief independent ethics adviser who oversaw the probe.
“The investigation therefore remains outstanding and should be a matter for a new independent adviser function, as soon as appointed by my successor,” Johnson said.
The probe will now resume after September if Johnson’s successor — either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak — continues the investigation, The Independent reported on Tuesday.
The controversy over the claims escalated further after former chief whip Mark Spencer identified himself as the individual at the center of Ghani’s allegations.
“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,” he said.
“These accusations are completely false and I consider them to be defamatory. I have never used those words attributed to me.”