Nusrat Ghani Case: Racism Within Conservative Party

Troubles have surrounded the UK government in recent weeks. The Conservative party is under the pressure of lockdown gatherings allegations and racist treatment of MP Nusrat Ghani. Some officials have accused Westminster to discrimination and asked the prime minister to leave the office.

Reason for Nusrat Ghani Replacement

The UK media has lately repeated the name of the first UK Muslim woman minister who spoke from the Commons dispatch. Ms. Nusrat Ghani became a Conservative MP in 2015, then in 2018, she was appointed as Transport Minister. After her promotion, the UK Transport Secretary said the Conservative Party was a party of opportunity. He added that the Conservative party provided the first Muslim woman minister to speak from the government dispatch box. The secretary said the Conservative Party produced the first woman prime minister in the UK history.

But in February 2020, the same Conservative Party sacked Nusrat Ghani without explanation then Kelly Tolhurst replaced her. In an interview with Sunday Times, Nusrat Ghani said Westminster fired her from ministerial job because of her faith. In early 2020 the UK government did a mini reshuffle and dismissed Ghani because of her Muslimness.

Institutional Racism Exists Within UK Government

This incident is a reminder of the institutional racism, more specifically Islamophobia, within the Conservative Party. Campaigners have fought for several years to abolish Islamophobic sentiments in the party. In 2019, fifteen Conservative councillers posted racist or Islamophobic content online so the party had to suspend them.

The Guardian revealed some Conservative candidates among 40 new ‘self-professed’ members shared racism and Islamophobic content in 2019. The same year, a Conservative activist bombarded Nusrat Ghani with emails while praising anti-immigration ideas. The anti-Muslim sentiments are settled among the Conservative party members, although there are Muslim members in the party. Hope Not Hate Organization conducted a poll in 2020 and found that half of Conservative party members believed Islam was a threat to the British way of life. The result showed that Islamophobia and racism were deep-rooted among some Conservative members.

The Conservatives Breach Rules 

The fact that Nusrat Ghani’s Muslimness made colleagues uncomfortable is a challenge to the UK’s equalities law. PM Boris Johnson has launched a formal cabinet office probe into the issue and said the allegations were very serious. This new investigation comes at a time when PM is under pressures for lockdown gatherings.

Boris Johnson and Conservative Party had held gatherings during national lockdowns late in 2020 and in June 2021. The ruling party members breached the lockdown rules while UK citizens had to stay home and follow the orders. The revelations about the Conservatives Party’s gatherings during Covid restrictions angered people. The UK government put the rules in place but they did not obey the rules while people had to obey them. Johnson apologized but after the news about his birthday party in June, some politicians asked him to resign.

PM Has Records of Racist Comments

Johnson has ordered an inquiry about racism in his cabinet and he called the case a serious matter. He has already censured racist comments against a football player after a black football player had lost a penalty shot. He had said insulting the player with racist comments was appalling and shameful. But it is hypocritical to condemn racism while having records of racist remarks. In 2018 Johnson named Muslim women with veils as letterboxes going around.

The UK Prime Minister went on and compared Muslim women to bank rubbers. Such racist comments caused an increase in Islamophobic crimes across England. He had made many offensive comments about black and ethnic minority people in the past. Perhaps it is the reason people do not take his comments against racism seriously. Existence of racist sentiment specifically anti-Muslim sentiment is a concern among the UK politicians.

Islamophobia Should Be Rooted Out

After Nusrat Ghani’s case, the Muslim Council of Britain has argued that institutional Islamophobia exists within the Conservative Party. This organization asked the Equality and Human Rights Commission to conduct a full inquiry to see if there was any breach of law. The Muslim Council of Britain asked for an investigation to address the root causes of the problem. A former investigation had found that Islamophobia has been a serious issue in the Conservative Party. The Singh investigation analyzed around 1500 complaints debated between 2015 and 2020 and revealed anti-Muslim sentiments of the party. Another study by YouGov had found that half of the Conservative members did not accept a Muslim as prime minister. MCB said Islamophobia in the Conservative Party is not surprising and Nusrat Ghani’s experience reinforces the problem. Discrimination against Muslim members of the party is a critical problem in UK politics.

Muslims Keep Quiet to Save Their Jobs

Such anti-Muslim sentiments have made Conservative Muslims keep quiet in fear of losing their positions. Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, former chairman of the Conservative Party has said Islamophobia was an open secret at Westminster. She added that many of her colleagues saw Nusrat Ghani’s struggle and have been aware of what happened to her. Warsi added that Ghani’s case was similar to many others but Muslim Conservatives were cautious to expose the problem. She mentioned that the Conservative MPs keep their heads down for keeping their political careers. According to Warsi, politicians are in a political culture where speaking up against racism in politics could be job-ending. Boris Johnson claimed he is glad an investigation into Muslim discrimination in the Conservative Party took place. Now that the UK government has called for an inquiry, it is important to address the roots of the problem.


During difficult days for the Conservatives after revelations of lockdown gatherings, there is a new Cabinet Office inquiry about racism. What whips told Nusrat Ghani about her Muslimness and replacement, is considerable for the future of UK politics.

Some claimed a Muslim woman minister status made colleagues feel uncomfortable. This idea b that brings to mind that Conservative Party is institutionally Islamophobic. Campaigners for a long time asked the Conservative Party to eliminate such discrimination as Islamophobia. It has roots in racism and the Conservatives should eradicate prejudice and discrimination. The UK is supposedly a progressive country and its elected public representatives should not fail to root out racism. Johnson and senior politicians should avoid any kind of racism and take a zero-tolerance approach to any form of racism.

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