Tories announce major shake in Islamophobia rules – on the day of Sue Gray’s report

The updated rules were endorsed a year after an Independent Report on Islamophobia ruled that anti-Muslim sentiment within the Conservative Party “remains a problem”.

The Conservative Party has confirmed a major shake-up to its Islamophobia complaints process – hours after Sue Gray released her damning Partygate report.

Party leader Oliver Dowden told members this afternoon officials had focused on updating their complaints procedure, updating a new protections policy in response to a damaging report of Islamophobia within the party.

From 2015 to 2020, the party’s central database recorded 1,418 complaints related to 727 incidents of alleged discrimination — an average of 237 complaints related to 122 incidents per year, according to an independent inquiry into Islamophobia within the party.

No action was taken in 418 incidents, including because the complaint related to a non-party member, insufficient evidence, or a prior investigation.

A CCHQ source told the Mirror the updated code of conduct includes a much clearer grievance process that will hear any grievances raised against it.

Oliver Dowden, leader of the Conservative Party


James Maloney/Lanc’s Live)

The updated code clearly states that all party members “shall not discriminate against, bully, harass or bully any other person on the basis of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation”.

It even adds that party members “must not bully or harass anyone for any reason,” which was not previously included in its code of conduct.

Mr Dowden remarked: “I know how hard our members work across the country to support our party and we will continue to work tirelessly to create a welcoming environment for all, without place or prejudice or discrimination on any ground.”

The updated process was confirmed minutes after the Prime Minister absconded from his Downing Street press conference on Partygate.

The Gray reports on incidents in which officers drank sickly, sang karaoke, got into arguments and abused security and cleaning staff, at a time when millions of people across the country were unable to see friends and family.

Boris Johnson arrives at the Downing Street press conference after the Sue Gray report


(Getty Images)

Mr Johnson told a Downing Street press conference: “I understand why people are outraged and why people are angry at what has happened.”

When asked if he had ever considered retiring, he replied: “I feel overwhelmingly that my job is to move forward and deliver.

“No matter how bitter and painful the conclusions from this may be – and they are – and no matter how humiliating they are, I must carry on and the government must carry on. And we are.”

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