Sajid Javid has defended the Conservative Party’s decision to to broaden its investigation into racism in the party to include ‘all types of prejudice’.
The chancellor said the decision to widen the scope of the inquiry ‘makes sense’ and added that the party needed to make sure its ‘zero tolerance policy’ on prejudice is effective.
During the Tory leadership contest Boris Johnson joined all other candidates – including Mr Javid – into committing to an inquiry into Islamophobia within the Tory party.
The PM has since backtracked from that promise, saying there would be a ‘general investigation’ instead.
Former party chairman Baroness Sayeeda Warsi has led calls for an independent inquiry into anti-Muslim bias in the party.
On Saturday, she accused Health Secretary Matt Hancock of ‘whitesplaining’ after he said that others ‘take a more balanced approach’ to the issue than her.
Mr Javid told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show there would be an inquiry into ‘anti-Muslim hatred’ which would start this year.
But pressed on the scope, he said: ‘We will have an inquiry into prejudice and it will absolutely mean looking into anti-Muslim hatred, and making sure that our zero tolerance policy – absolute zero tolerance – is as effective as it can be and looking to see what other procedures we could have in place.
‘But at the same time it also makes sense to look at any other kind of prejudice – it’s absolute sense to look at all types of prejudice, in any form, because it is all unacceptable.
‘I don’t accept it’s very different: if you’re going to look into prejudice it is right… at the same time that you look at all other types of prejudice.’