Boris Johnson has apologised for the “hurt and offence” caused by Islamophobia coming from within the Conservative Party.
It came less than a day after the Prime Minister dismissed criticism from the Muslim Council of Britain by saying anyone guilty of prejudice was thrown out of the party at “first bounce”.
Speaking in Cornwall he was asked if he apologised for incidents of Islamophobia in the Tory Party and replied: “Of course and for all the hurt and offence that has been caused - of course we do.”
“And all that is intolerable and it's so important as a country that we don't allow that kind of thing and that's why we're going to have the independent inquiry."
He has pledged to hold an independent inquiry into antisemitism, Islamophobia and other forms of prejudice before Christmas.
Earlier on Wednesday the Conservative candidate for Luton South, Parvez Akhtar, called on the Prime Minister to apologise for a newspaper column in which he described Muslim women wearing head coverings as “letterboxes” and “bank robbers”.
Parvez Akhtar called on the PM to apologise
In a statement he said he had personally experienced “anti-Muslim hatred within the party” on two occasions as a candidate, but felt the best way to make a difference was from within.
He said Mr Johnson’s previous comments had reinforced the “widely held view that the Conservative Party has a blind spot when it comes to Muslims” and this view had been exacerbated by the Prime Minister’s refusal to apologise.
Both Mr Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are under fire over accusations of prejudice, with the Chief Rabbi saying the Labour leader’s response to allegations of antisemitism was “incompatible” with British values.
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