Now what is he going to do?
After Nusrat Ghani joined complaints against Conservative whips, saying one had told her she had been sacked as a transport minister because her “Muslimness” was making colleagues “uncomfortable”, both Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi have insisted on an investigation.
Both are themselves Muslims, although Javid is non-practising.
He tweeted the following on the subject:
.@Nus_Ghani is a friend and a credit to the Conservative Party.
This is a very serious matter which needs a proper investigation. I would strongly support her in making a formal complaint – she must be heard.
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) January 23, 2022
And this is what Zahawi had to say about it:
There is no place for islamophobia or any form of racism in our @Conservatives party. @Nus_Ghani is a friend, a colleague & a brilliant parliamentarian. This has to be investigated properly & racism routed out. #standwithNus
— Nadhim Zahawi (@nadhimzahawi) January 22, 2022
Dominic Raab, as Deputy Prime Minister, said there could be no inquiry unless Ms Ghani submitted a formal complaint, which she declined to do at the time.
But Ms Ghani has now added to her original claim by saying prime minister Boris Johnson, while refusing to get involved when she was sacked, had offered her only one way of making a complaint – and it was inappropriate:
My response to No10 statement pic.twitter.com/Fyp08t9pC1
— Nus Ghani MP (@Nus_Ghani) January 23, 2022
So it seems she spoke to Johnson in June 2020 about her sacking in February that year but he said he “could not get involved”.
Instead, she’s saying, he suggested she should use the internal Conservative Party complaints process – that would not be appropriate for something that happened on government business; she says she doesn’t even know whether the words spoken to her about her sacking were by a member of the Conservative Party.
This seems to be a claim that Tory chief whip Mark Spencer was mistaken when he said her claim about being sacked because of her “Muslimness” related to a conversation with him.
The new statement calls Johnson’s behaviour into question yet again: Did he misdirect Ms Ghani?
And it comes at the worst possible time for a prime minister who is under extreme pressure over his conduct regarding the now-infamous Downing Street parties that took place while the rest of us – including the Queen – were under lockdown…
… and who is already facing questions about whether Tory whips have been blackmailing MPs to prevent them from submitting letters of “no confidence” in his leadership.
With Cabinet ministers now asking hard questions, will this be the straw that finally breaks Boris Johnson?
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