Conservative Party members suspended over Islamophobia claims

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Conservative rosetteImage source, Reuters

The Conservative Party has suspended a number of its members following allegations of Islamophobia.

A dossier compiled by the campaign group Hope Not Hate appears to show anti-Muslim online comments made by Tory members, including six councillors.

It lists more than 20 names, but it is understood not all belong to the party.

The Tories say they have suspended all of those who were party members, pending investigation.

But the Conservatives have not confirmed how many members have been suspended.

The Conservatives launched an inquiry into Islamophobia and other forms of prejudice within the party at the end of last year - following repeated calls for it to do so.

It came after incidents had been highlighted to the party and in the media.

In Hope Not Hate's dossier, an online post allegedly from an ex-councillor says: "Moslems do not deserve 'Human rights' as we understand them, partly because of their animal-like behaviour."

Another online post from a council candidate suggested that it was "not a bad thing" if Muslims left the UK.

Hope Not Hate said it was calling on the Conservative Party to "take immediate action" against the individuals and it will "continue to demand that they take proper steps to tackle the Islamophobia crisis that has gripped the party at every level".

The group's campaigns director, Matthew McGregor, said the Tories "need to take much more seriously its obligation to Muslim members, and to the wider community".

"That means tougher sanctions, and more transparency about its processes and decisions," he added.

In response, a Conservative Party spokesperson said: "All those found to be party members have been suspended immediately, pending investigation.

"The swift action we take on not just anti-Muslim discrimination, but discrimination of any kind is testament to the seriousness with which we take such issues."

In September last year, a number of Conservative Party members were suspended for posting or endorsing Islamophobic material online after the BBC highlighted more than 20 new cases.

And in November last year, another group of party members were suspended over claims of Islamophobic social media posts.