Baroness Sayeeda Warsi has said that she “does not see her party wanting to be part of modern Britain” after she described the Conservative party as being “institutionally islamophobic”.
The Conservative peer, who in 2010 became the first Muslim woman to be in the Cabinet, told talkRADIO’s Matthew Wright: “What promoted me as a working-class, British, Muslim woman from Yorkshire to join the Conservative party was this real view that if you worked hard and played by the rules that there was a place for everyone in the country.
“That was the kind of society that we wanted to create. I cannot now go and speak to British Muslims and say to them that ‘this is the party for you and you will have equal worth and equal value here and if you do raise concerns about people making vile comments that the party will take it seriously.’ That breaks my heart.
“As a centre-right politician, I wholeheartedly believe that we have the answers to some of the big issues of our time and yet I don’t see my party wanting to be part of this modern Britain.”
A total of 14 Conservative members were suspended from the party over "Islamophobic" comments on the homepage of a Facebook group, as revealed by BuzzFeed News.
The "Jacob Rees-Mogg Supporters Group" contained posts calling for the closure of all mosques and branding Muslim Home Secretary Sajid Javid a "Trojan horse".
Baroness Warsi said it was clear that the Conservatives were “attracting a certain type of voter”.
She added: “There are a lot of ex-UKIP and angry Brexiteers. There is a whole group of people who feel they can infiltrate the party and elect the next leader.”
'A public spate'
The Conservative peer claimed that she has been putting these arguments to the party “for years and years”.
She said: “The party has only acted on cases when there has been a public spate about it. It is trial by twitter and it should not be like that.
“The party should want to rule out these people rather than being shamed into routing them out because they are brought to the table kicking and screaming by a social network.”
Baroness Warsi called for an independent inquiry into islamophobia within the party to deal with members such as those in the Facebook group.
She added: “I am not going to hold my breath in expecting the prime minister to show some leadership on this.
“I think she has got some bigger issues on which she needs to show some leadership.”