September 17, 2020 Faith Matters

Head of probe into discrimination in Tory Party seeks further evidence

The head of an investigation into the Conservative Party’s handling of complaints of discrimination and prejudice, including Islamophobia, has issued a call for further evidence.

Professor Swaran Singh, a former commissioner of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said the investigation is nearing the end of its first phase of work.

It has examined all existing documentary evidence relating to formal complaints of unlawful discrimination made to the Tory Party complaints team.

But the investigation is now seeking further evidence relating to allegations which may have been raised in the past but not considered by the party’s complaints team.

Prof Singh said: “The independent investigation is reaching the end of its initial examination of the Conservative Party’s handling of past complaints of discrimination.

“We are now calling for further evidence that we may not already have seen to ensure that we are aware, as far as realistically possible, of all evidence relating to alleged discrimination within the party.

“We need to determine whether all important evidence of discrimination has been considered in the framework of the party’s existing complaints process.”

The deadline for submissions is 4pm on October 17.

The Tories announced in December that Prof Singh would head the party’s review into its handling of complaints of discrimination and prejudice, including Islamophobia.

Boris Johnson originally promised an independent inquiry into Islamophobia in the party when he was campaigning to be Tory leader last summer.

The commitment was later widened to cover all forms of discrimination and prejudice.