IN FULL: Luton Tory MP candidate calls for Boris Johnson to apologise to Muslim women as well as inquiry into Islamophobia in party

The Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Luton South has called for Boris Johnson to 'unequivocally apologise' to Muslim women over his past comments, as well to hold an external inquiry into allegations of Islamophobia in the party.

In a press statement, Luton South candidate Parvez Akhtar stated that he too had been the victim of anti-Muslim hatred while serving as a Conservative activist.

Parvez Atkhar

Parvez Atkhar

Mr Atkhar is an engine design specialist and a former Conservative mayoral candidate for Bedford.

He stated: "As the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Luton South and member of the Conservative Party since 2005, I have known about anti-Muslim hatred within the party and in fact have personally experienced on two occasion as a candidate in 2009 and 2017, but I always have felt that the only way to change the Conservative Party was from within.

"During my campaign for Luton South where 30% of the population is Muslim, it has become increasingly obvious, the hurt and anger that has been caused by the comments of the Prime Minister about Muslim women. Whatever the intent of the column, the effect has been to reinforce the widely held view that the Conservative Party has a blind spot when it comes to Muslims.

"This view is further exacerbated by the fact that the Prime Minister refuses to apologise for those comments and hold an independent enquiry into islamaphobia despite committing to it on live television.

"As a loyal and long serving member of the Conservative Party, it is very difficult for me to raise this because I passionately believe that a Conservative government is the best thing for our country including for Muslim communities. I now know how difficult it must have been for the former MP of Luton South Gavin Shuker to raise the issue of anti-Semitism within his Party. Just like him I can no longer remain silent as I would be complicit in the blatant discrimination which exists not only within the Party towards individuals but also when it comes to the policy agenda.

"I am therefore calling on the Prime Minister to unequivocally apologise for his comments about Muslim women and agree to hold a full independent and transparent enquiry into Islamaphobia within the Conservative Party."

The Conservative Party has been approached for comment.