The Conservatives have apologised to victims of Islamophobia and racism in the party, after a report criticised “anti-Muslim sentiment”.
Amanda Milling, the party’s co-chair, said it was accepting “all the recommendations” made by the long-awaited inquiry by Professor Swaran Singh.
“On behalf of the Conservative Party I would like to apologise to anyone who has been hurt by discriminatory behaviour of others or failed by our system,” she said.
Ms Milling promised to publish our plan to implement the recommendations for overhauling how racism complaints are handled “in six weeks’ time”
“It is clear that there have been failings in our complaints process and we will begin work on implementing the recommendations set out by the investigation,” she added.
The apology came after the inquiry found that two-thirds of complaints related to anti-Muslim discrimination – but the party’s complaints process was not fit for purpose to deal with them.
Boris Johnson also came under fire for his comments about women wearing the burka, which gave the impression of being “insensitive to Muslim communities”, the Prof Singh said.
His inquiry, set up by the prime minister in December 2019, also found:
* The Conservatives recorded 1,418 complaints concerning 727 incidents of alleged discrimination, between 2015 and 2020.
* The people interviewed by the investigation who experienced discrimination did so “at the level of a local party association.
* Local anti-Muslim sentiment was “demonstrated by a number of social media complaints against party members which were upheld”.
* Many of those interviewed believed Islamist extremism was being conflated with Islam.
Prof Singh said: ““Our report should make for uncomfortable reading for the party and, more importantly, spur it into action.”