May 13, 2020
The Conservative Party has commissioned an independent investigation to tackle any concerns about prejudice and discrimination head-on. We want to make sure, no matter your background, you are be able to feel you have a home within the Conservative Party. Amanda Milling wrote the following in the Telegraph this week on the Party's investigation, to make clear our commitment to fighting all forms of prejudice wherever it is found.
On Tuesday we announced the terms of reference as part of the ongoing independent investigation into all forms of prejudice and discrimination in the Conservative Party.
The terms of reference set out what the investigation will consider and report on. They are an important next step in this process because, as we have made clear, we are committed to ensuring that any behaviour that is not fit for public life is stamped out. It has no place in our Party.
Indeed, I joined the Conservative Party because we believe in aspiration and opportunity, whoever you are and wherever you come from and it is one of the many reasons I am proud to be the Co-Chairman of the Party.
The very first woman to take a seat in Parliament was Conservative. We’ve been led by two female Prime Ministers and a man with two O-Levels to his name. The first MP of Chinese heritage elected to the Commons is a Conservative as is the first female Muslim MP to have spoken at the dispatch box.
This is why, from day one in this this role I made it a key priority to speak to as many communities as I could to understand the barriers they face today and how we can work together to overcome these.
As part of this I’ve attended a virtual interfaith Iftar and an Iftar with young Muslim women who spoke about the difficulties they face and the hopes they have for the future. I’ve met with several of our affiliated groups to hear about how we can better engage with communities and held talks with the Board of Deputies of British Jews about how we can work together more.
Our Party does not discriminate based on your background or where you come from and as Co-Chairman I am committed to ensuring this continues and that we help to make sure that we all live in a society which rejects abuse or discrimination on the basis of someone’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or a disability.
I know there have been concerns that our Party has let some communities down. But let me assure you that we will never stand by when it comes to prejudice and discrimination and that’s why we are holding an independent investigation to ensure that any instances are stamped out.
There may have been some concerns about our silence on this investigation, but work has been underway. Our independent Chair has now confirmed the terms of reference for the investigation and shared them with the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Under the agreed terms of reference, the independent investigation will consider and report on complaints against the Party and its representatives of alleged discrimination because of a protected characteristic (including religion or belief and specifically Islam) or of indirect discrimination.
Since December, the investigation Chair has been working to ensure this investigation is as comprehensive and robust as possible.
I am fully committed to ensuring a thorough investigation takes place because concerns about prejudice and discrimination need to be tackled head on - out of respect for every community.
While we await the outcome and recommendations of the Chair, I will be building on the work of my predecessors and reaching out to the many communities that make up the rich tapestry of our country and our Party.
We celebrate and value the contribution all communities make to our country and our Party. As the investigation continues, I will be reaching out to more people from all faiths and none because as we’ve seen during this pandemic, our country is stronger when communities come together to support and uplift one another.
Everyone should feel that they have a home within our Party - regardless of who they are, where they come from or what they believe.
We will not tolerate any prejudice or discrimination, and I am determined that our whole Party works together to ensure that everyone can reach their full potential, everyone’s rights are respected, and everyone is treated with fairness, respect and dignity.
This article first appeared in The Telegraph on the 12th of May 2020.
Commenting, Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said:
“Corbyn’s Pension Tax will see ten million savers facing a huge bill forcing them to delay their retirement for almost three and a half years.
“This is just one of the ways a Corbyn government would hammer hardworking people on top of his plans to hike up taxes by £2,400 a year, as well as the cost of his plan for unlimited immigration and the chaos of 2020 being dominated by two more referendums – one on Brexit and another on Scottish independence.
“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party can get Brexit done with a deal, get parliament working again and turbocharge our economy to unleash Britain’s potential.”