After a minister said she had been told by Boris Johnson that she would be fired for her “Muslimness”, the Tory civil War erupted into a new conflict today over claims of islamophobia.

Nusrat Ghani, 49, alleges she was told by a party whip she was being axed as a transport minister in February 2020 because her status as a Muslim woman and a minister was ‘making colleagues feel uncomfortable’.

Ms. Ghani was first Muslim woman elected Tory MP for 2015. She claimed that she was told by her Tory colleagues that she would lose her career and reputation if she raised the matter. 

After the Sunday Times reported the allegation, Education Secretary Nadhim Zhawi was contacted to investigate. He is the highest ranking Muslim in Government. 

He tweeted: ‘There is no place for islamophobia or any form of racism in our Conservative party. Nusrat Ghani is a friend, a colleague & a brilliant parliamentarian. This has to be investigated properly & racism routed out. #standwithNus’

Mark Spencer was the chief whip and identified Ms Ghani as the whip responsible last night. He also called her comments false and defamatory.

This opens up a new front to the bitter struggle between Boris Johnson’s administration and Conservative MPs. 

Partygate revelations fueled the row into open warfare. Last week, backbenchers under William Wragg, chairman of the committee, made public claims about heavy-handed behavior from whips that they claim went so far as to blackmail.

Christian Wakeford of Bury South, the MP who defected from Labour to Labour last Wednesday, used today’s newspaper article to charge the PM with having “poisoned” the Tory Party’s top to bottom.  

Nusrat Ghani (pictured), the Tory MP for Wealden in East Sussex, was sacked as transport minister in February 2020 as part of a mini-cabinet reshuffle

Nusrat Khani (pictured), Tory MP for Wealden, East Sussex was fired as transport minister as part of a minicabinet restructuring in February 2020.

The allegation in the Sunday Times prompted demands for an investigation from Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi, the most senior Muslim in the Government.

After the Sunday Times reported the allegation, Education Secretary Nadhim Zhawi was contacted to investigate. He is the highest ranking Muslim in Government.

Chief whip Mark Spencer (pictured) took to Twitter to identify himself as the person MS Ghani's claims were made about and claimed they were 'false' and 'defamatory'

Mark Spencer (pictured, Chief Whip) used Twitter to claim that MS Ghani was the source of his claims.

In February 2020, Ms. Ghani, Tory MP from Wealden (East Sussex), was dismissed as part of an internal mini-cabinet restructuring.

She told The Times she felt ‘humiliated and powerless’ after the alleged conversation, saying: ‘It was like being punched in the stomach.’

The allegation was strongly denied by a government source who is close to whips’ offices. 

After the accusations, Mark Spencer, the chief whip of Parliament took to Twitter and identified himself as Ms Ghani.

The MP for Sherwood, 52, branded the accusations as ‘false’ and ‘defamatory’ and claimed he had ‘never used those words’. 

He said: “To make sure other Whips don’t get drawn into this matter. I am identifying myself as Nusrat Ghani MP who has claimed about this evening. 

“These accusations are false. I believe them to be defamatory. I never spoke those words. 

He claimed that Ms. Ghani “declined” to refer the matter the Conservative Party to a formal investigation. Also, he said he provided evidence to an Islamophobia inquiry.

He stated that it was disappointing that Ms. Ghani did not refer the matter for formal investigation to the Conservative Party when the issue had been raised.

Bury South MP Christian Wakeford, who defected to Labour last week, today used a newspaper article to accuse the PM of having 'poisoned the Tory Party from top to bottom'.

Christian Wakeford of Bury South, who was forced to defect to Labour last Wednesday, used today’s newspaper article to charge the PM with having “poisoned” the Tory Party’s top and bottom.

‘I provided evidence to the Singh Investigation into Islamophobia which concluded that there was no credible basis for the claims to be included in the report. 

These claims are related to March 2020. 

‘When Ms. Ghani raised the issues, she was invited by CCHQ to go through its formal complaints process. She refused to. 

According to reports, Ms. Ghani was vice-chairwoman of 1922 Committee of Tory Backbenchers and stated that she had considered whether or not she would continue to be an MP following the incident. 

When she spoke about the reshuffle she stated that she had inquired the whips at a post-reshuffle gathering why she was being dismissed. She claimed that they told her “Muslimness” was an ‘issue”.

Ms Ghani, who previously served as Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury, claimed she was told there were concerns that she wasn’t ‘loyal’ to the party because she didn’t do enough to defend it against Islamophobia allegations.

She explained that it was clear that whips 10 and No.10 were holding her to a higher level of loyalty due to my faith, background and religion.

The politician claimed that she met with another whip in March 2020 and was informed there is no Islamophobia within her party.

In that same meeting she also claimed that she was fired by the whip for saying that Boris Johnson had a problem with women voters.

Ms Ghani claimed she raised the issue through official party channels but said she was warned that if she continued to do so, she would be ‘ostracised’ by her colleagues and her ‘career and reputation would be destroyed’.

She said that she had followed the procedure after the “threats”, but she was ultimately forced to go backwards.

Ms Ghani (picutred), 49, alleged she was told by a whip her 'Muslimness was raised as an issue' at a post-reshuffle meeting and that her faith was 'making colleagues feel uncomfortable'

Ms. Ghani (picutred), 49 years old, claimed she was told that ‘Muslimness’ was an issue in a post-reshuffle meeting. She also said her faith was making colleagues uncomfortable.

An inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party, which was carried out two years ago, found no evidence that the Tory party is ‘institutionally racist’ but was critical of comments made by Boris Johnson.

A majority of the independent panel cleared the Prime Minister after a complaint that he had broken the party’s code. This was in response to a column published by Daily Telegraph (2018) which stated that Muslim women wearing burkhas look like bank robbers and letterboxes. His comments were later repudiated. 

Following a string of accusations about Islamophobic behaviour within the party, Prof Singh established the inquiry and expanded it to cover all forms discrimination.

From 2015-2020, the party’s central database recorded 1,418 complaints relating to 727 incidents of alleged discrimination – an average of 237 complaints about 122 incidents a year in a party of 200,000 members.

More than two-thirds of the incidents – 496 cases – related to Islam and 74 per cent of all the cases involved social media activity.

Report concluded that allegations of institutional racism against the party were not supported by any evidence.

However, it admitted that anti-Muslim sentiment is still a problem within the Conservative Party.

Ms Ghani’s allegations come after rebel Tory William Wragg accused government whips of ‘blackmailing’ backbenchers seeking to oust the Prime Minister amid fears of a no-confidence vote.

It comes as rebel Tory William Wragg (pictured) accused government whips of 'blackmailing' backbenchers seeking to oust Boris Johnson amid fears of a no-confidence vote

This comes just as the rebel Tory William Wragg (pictured), accused government whips, who he claimed, ‘blackmailed’ backbenchers in an attempt to expel Boris Johnson amid concerns of a no confidence vote

According to Mr Wragg (34), he said that he would meet a Metropolitan Police detective in the House of Commons next week for discussion of his claims, raising concerns about the possibility of police opening an investigation. 

Wragg indicated that on Friday he planned to inform the detective about’several” instances of bullying, intimidation and some cases involving public money. 

According to him, The Telegraph said that he stands by the statements he made. He said that no amount of gas lighting will alter this. 

Downing Street stated that it will not launch its own investigation into the allegations, in spite of calls from both Conservative MPs and opposition MPs. 

The spokesperson for No. 10 stated that it will only initiate an investigation if Mr Wragg is presented with supporting evidence. 

However, Mr Wragg (Chair of Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee) stated that he believes an investigation should be left to the “experts” in police.

Spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said that if a crime is reported to them, they would consider it. 

However, Adam Holloway, the Tory MP for Gravesham, dismissed the ‘blackmail’ allegations, saying he has ‘never known’ such behaviour to happen during his time in the Conservatives or Government, adding it ‘doesn’t ring true to me’.

When confronted with the claims, Mr Holloway 56 said, “I only can speak for myself, and I’ve never seen anything like it.”  

‘I’ve never known any sort of link with my behaviour in Parliament and resources coming into my constituency, so I suspect it’s complete bulls***.

Tory MP Tom Tugendhat (pictured) has insisted that he has never experienced or witnessed his party's whips use blackmail following the allegations from Mr Wragg

Tom Tugendhat is Tory MP and has claimed that he never saw or was involved in whips’ use of blackmail after the accusations from Mr Wragg

“That’s the American political system, that’s all I know. But, it’s not what I see here. That just doesn’t work. 

Tory MP Tom Tugendhat has also insisted that he has never experienced or witnessed his party’s whips use blackmail following the allegations. 

BBC Breakfast asked the MP for Tonbridge-Malling (48) if he has ever been bribed by his party whips.

He replied, “No, that’s not what I meant. And as you might know, I wasn’t always the Government’s greatest supporter.” On occasions where I believed it right, I have voted for the government.

“I must say that I have always maintained a close relationship with Chief Whip and a productive one with whips. I am eager to learn more because I don’t know anything about it.

On Thursday, Mr Johnson claimed he’d’seen nothing’ to back up Mr Wragg’s claim that critics are being intimidated. 

Christian Wakeford was the Bury South MP, who defected from Labour to claim that Tory whips had warned about him regarding funding for a school in his electorate if he voted against free school meals. 

Ministers attempted to deny the claims, insisting that whips were not involved in the allocation of public money.