Inquiry into Nusrat Ghani sacking requires complaint to be made, says Raab – live

Inquiry into Nusrat Ghani sacking requires complaint to be made, says Raab – live
Carrie Johnson is accused of hosting friends at No 11 flat during lockdown


Nusrat Ghani Islamophobia claims won’t be looked at until ‘she makes a formal complaint’, says Raab

Dominic Raab, the deputy PM, has said there can be no investigation into the claim made by a Tory MP that she was sacked over her Muslim faith until she submits a “formal complaint” to the Conservative Party.

Nusrat Ghani said she was dismissed from her role as a transport minister in 2020 due to concerns around her “Muslimness”. She claimed she was told by an unnamed government whip that her faith was “making colleagues uncomfortable”. Chief whip Mark Spencer has since denied the allegations, calling them “completely false” and “defamatory”.

Mr Raab told Sky News earlier that while Ms Ghani’s claim was “incredibly serious”, she “hasn’t made a formal complaint” despite being “asked to do so”. He added: “In the absence of [this], there will be no specific investigation.”

The latest blow to Boris Johnson’s government came after The Sunday Times reported that the partygate inquiry may have unearthed details of Carrie Johnson hosting friends at their Downing Street flat during lockdown. The PM’s wife is said to have explained the visits as work-related events.


Watch: ‘Unlikely’ British troops will be sent to Ukraine if Russia invades

Raab says it’s ‘extremely unlikely’ troops will be sent to Ukraine in event of Russian invasion
Sam Hancock23 January 2022 12:07

PM will have to resign if he’s found to have lied to parliament – Raab

A bit more from Dominic Raab now. The deputy PM has said again Boris Johnson would have to resign if he was found to have misled parliament over a party held at No 10.

“The code of conduct for ministers is very clear that if you mislead parliament it is a resigning matter,” Raab told Times Radio earlier.

He also appeared to suggest publication of the Gray report could take slightly longer than expected.

“If it takes a day or too longer – absolutely right. Sue Gray should determine that,” he said, adding of Gray: “I don’t think you could have anyone who is more confident and dutiful in speaking truth to power.”

Sam Hancock23 January 2022 12:06

Labour urges PM to hold independent inquiry into Islamophobia

Let’s hear from the Labour Party now. Shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry has said the Conservatives should hold an independent inquiry into Islamophobia.

Responding to accusations made by Tory MP Nusrat Ghani that she was fired from a ministerial role for her “Muslimness”, Ms Thornberry said: “I know Nus Ghani… I have always found her to be a deeply serious and principled individual. When she makes an allegation like this, I believe her.”

Speaking to Times Radio, Ms Thornberry added that the Conservative Party “just don’t take Islamophobia in their midst seriously”.

She added: “I would like to see an independent inquiry into Islamophobia in the Tory Party in the same way that we quite rightly held an independent inquiry into the poison that is antisemitism in the Labour Party.”

<p>Thornberry is the Labour MP for Islington South </p>

Thornberry is the Labour MP for Islington South

Sam Hancock23 January 2022 12:01

Neither Ghani nor Spencer backing down on Islamophobia claims

As Sky’s Sam Coates reports:

Sam Hancock23 January 2022 11:28

PM ‘invited his MP to begin formal complaint process two years ago’

On that note, here’s Ashley Cowburn with more on the revelations by Downing Street:

Johnson met Nusrat Ghani to discuss Islamophobia allegations in 2020, No 10 reveals

Ms Ghani alleged she was told her Muslim faith was ‘making colleagues feel uncomfortable’

Sam Hancock23 January 2022 11:17

No 10 says PM met with Ghani in 2020 to discuss Islamophobia claims

After Nusrat Ghani told The Sunday Times she was sacked as transport minister in 2020 due to concerns around her “Muslimness”, a No 10 spokesperson said the matter had been dealt with two years ago.

In a statement, the spokesperson said:

“After being made aware of these extremely serious claims, the prime minister met with Nusrat Ghani to discuss them [on 1 July 2020].

“He then wrote to her [on 10 July] expressing his serious concern and inviting her to begin a formal complaint process. She did not subsequently do so.

“The Conservative Party does not tolerate prejudice or discrimination of any kind.”

Sam Hancock23 January 2022 11:02

Raab: Complaint needed before probe into Tory Islamophobia

Following my earlier posts, here’s our political correspondent Ashley Cowburn with more on the remarks Dominic Raab made this morning about Tory MP Nusrat Ghani.

Formal complaint needed before investigation into Islamophobia allegations, says Raab

Ms Ghani alleged she was told her Muslim faith was ‘making colleagues feel uncomfortable’

Sam Hancock23 January 2022 10:49

ICYMI: Partygate inquiry ‘may have discovered’ event in PM’s flat

An inquiry into allegations of parties at Downing Street may have unearthed details of at least one gathering in Boris Johnson’s flat, reports suggest.

Sue Gray, the senior civil servant conducting the investigation, is reported to have received evidence of visits involving close friends of Carrie Johnson, the PM’s wife, during lockdown.

Mrs Johnson is said to have welcomed two friends – both civil servants but not working at No 10 at the time – into her residence on several occasions during lockdown, according to The Sunday Times, with the visits reportedly being explained as work-related.

Zoe Tidman has more:

Partygate inquiry ‘may have discovered at least one gathering’ in Downing Street flat

Sue Gray’s report is expected to be published this week

Sam Hancock23 January 2022 10:09

Scandal will ‘follow Johnson as long as he is PM,’ says Brown

Back to the Trevor Phillips on Sunday programme now, where former Labour PM Gordon Brown said Boris Johnson’s government will likely end in scandal.

“My fear is that scandal is going to follow Boris Johnson as long as he is prime minister,” Brown said.

“We don’t just have the scandal – and all the details will probably come out later this week about partying – we have the conflicts of interest, we have the dubious appointments, we have foreign money and question marks over that, who is paying the bills for what?

“And I don’t think we are going to see this administration end in anything other than scandal.”

Mr Brown added that “attention has veered” away from other important issues like the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the rising cost of living in the UK, and Russia’s aggression against Ukraine because of the Downing Street parties.

Sam Hancock23 January 2022 09:51

BREAKING: ‘Unlikely’ British troops will be sent to Ukraine, says Raab

Last bit from Raab’s Sky interview now. The deputy PM said it is “extremely unlikely” that troops will be sent into Ukraine in the event of a Russian invasion, but stressed there will be “severe economic consequences” for the Kremlin, including financial sanctions.

“There will be very serious consequences if Russia takes this move to try and invade, but also install a puppet regime,” he said.

Asked how the government would respond, Raab said: “We wouldn’t telegraph all of the measures that we would take, but it’s important this very clear message… that there will be very serious, severe economic consequences”.

Our political correspondent Ashley Cowburn has the full report:

‘Extremely unlikely’ troops will be sent to Ukraine, Dominic Raab says

Deputy PM says there will be ‘severe economic consequences’

Sam Hancock23 January 2022 09:27