The Conservative Party's complaints process is robust, the party chairman has said, after a campaign group wrote to him about claims of Islamophobia. Hope Not Hate's Nick Lowles asked for Brandon Lewis to clarify his claim that all complaints of Islamophobia by party members had been dealt with.
The party has not said how many investigations there are but 14 members have been suspended for Facebook posts.
Mr Lewis said swift action had been taken when complaints were made. He said there was absolutely no place for anti-Muslim discrimination in the party.
Mr Lowles wrote asking for clarification after Mr Lewis said in November 2018: We deal with complaints, none outstanding. He said he took that statement to mean there were no complaints of Islamophobia outstanding, but said: We now know that this is not true.
He added: Were you trying to mislead us, and via the statement, members of the public? Or are your systems and processes so broken that you did not know your statement was untrue when you made it?
In his reply, Mr Lewis said: ”Anti-Muslim discrimination undermines society from within and there is absolutely no place for it in this country or in the Conservative Party. We take swift action when complaints are made to Conservative Party headquarters (CCHQ), immediately referring them for investigation.
That was the case in November 2018, and continues to be the case today.
The Conservative Party has not said how many investigations it has conducted into allegations of Islamophobia against party members in the last year, or how many people have been suspended or thrown out.
Investigations are rightly kept confidential and may vary in length, so we cannot and will not provide a running commentary on individual cases, Mr Lewis said. However, as you have no doubt seen, sanctions include suspensions and expulsions.