Sherwood MP denies claims he told Tory MP she was sacked as a minister due to her Muslim faith

Boris Johnson is facing calls for an inquiry after a Tory MP said she was told that she was sacked from her ministerial post because her Muslim faith was "making colleagues uncomfortable".

Sunday, 23rd January 2022, 5:54 pm
Updated Sunday, 23rd January 2022, 5:55 pm

Mark Spencer, the chief whip and MP for Sherwood, has denied claims that MP Nusrat Ghani was sacked as transport minister because of her Muslim faith.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Nusrat Ghani said she was told by a government whip that her "Muslimness" was "raised as an issue", something that she described as "like being punched in the stomach".

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Sherwood MP Mark Spencer, the Government chief whip, has denied the claims made against him by former minister Nusrat Ghani. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/Getty Images

In a series of Tweets, Mr Spencer revealed that he was the individual who spoke to Ms Ghani in a meeting in March 2020, but denied the allegations.

It read: “To ensure other Whips are not drawn into this matter, I am identifying myself as the person Nusrat Ghani MP has made claims about this evening.

“These accusations are completely false and I consider them to be defamatory. I have never used those words attributed to me.

“It is disappointing that when this issue was raised before Ms Ghani declined to refer the matter to the Conservative Party for a formal investigation.

UK Parliament official file portrait of Tory MP Nusrat Ghani.

“I provided evidence to the Singh Investigation into Islamophobia which concluded that there was no credible basis for the claims to be included in the report.”

Mr Spencer also stated that the claims related to a meeting in March 2020, and that when the issue was raised Ms Ghani was invited to make a formal complaint, which she declined.

Today, Ms Ghani released a further statement saying “not a day has gone by without thinking about what [she] was told.”

She said: “In my statement yesterday I was careful not to mention any names or implicate the Prime Minister.

“All I have ever wanted was for his Government to take this seriously, investigate properly and ensure no other colleague has to endure this.

“I have many things that I want to achieve in politics, not least my campaigns on human rights and genocide, and I am deeply disappointed that it has come to this.”

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