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Nusrat Ghani: Boris Johnson orders inquiry into MP’s ‘Muslimness’ sacking claim

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Boris Johnson has announced an inquiry into claims by Tory MP Nusrat Ghani that when she lost her job as a minister she was told it was partly because of concerns about her “Muslimness”.

A No10 spokesperson said on Monday morning: “The Prime Minister has asked the Cabinet Office to conduct an inquiry into the allegations made by Nusrat Ghani MP.

“At the time these allegations were first made, the Prime Minister recommended to her that she make a formal complain to CCHQ. She did not take up this offer.

“The Prime Minister has now asked officials to establish the facts about what happened.

“As he said at the time, the Prime Minister takes these claims very seriously.”

Over the weekend Health Secretary Sajid Javid followed Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi in insisting the incendiary allegations by Ms Ghani were properly looked into.

In an interview, Ms Ghani said that following her dismissal as a transport minister in February 2020, she was told by a Government whip that her faith made colleagues “uncomfortable” and that her career would be “destroyed” if she tried to complain.

Ms Ghani said she welcomed the Prime Minister's decision to order an investigation into her claims.

The Conservative MP for Wealden said: "As I said to the Prime Minister last night, all I want is for this to be taken seriously and for him to investigate.

"I welcome his decision to do that now.

"The terms of reference for the inquiry must include all that was said in Downing Street and by the whip.

"I look forward to seeing the terms of reference."

Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said that there could be no inquiry unless Ms Ghani submitted a formal complaint which she had declined to do at the time.

Following the publication of her interview with the Sunday Times, the chief whip, Mark Spencer confirmed he had spoken to her but strongly denied making the alleged comments saying the claims were “completely false” and “defamatory”.

However, she received powerful Cabinet backing from Mr Javid and Mr Zahawi, intensifying the pressure on the Prime Minister to act.

The Health Secretary tweeted: “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.”

Earlier, Mr Zahawi tweeted: “Nus Ghani is a friend, a colleague and a brilliant parliamentarian. This has to be investigated properly and racism rooted out.”

The row comes at a perilous moment for Mr Johnson as he awaits the publication of the report of Sue Gray into allegations of Downing Street parties in breach of lockdown rules, amid fears in No 10 it could trigger a new waves of demands for him to go.

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