A journalist calls out a top Tory for shocking double standards when smearing Labour

Sunny Hundal and James Cleverly
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openDemocracy journalist Sunny Hundal has ridiculed Tory MP and Conservative deputy chair James Cleverly for the Conservative Party’s apparently differing standards on antisemitism and Islamophobia:

Back and forth

Cleverly attacked Labour, accusing the party of antisemitism:

Read on...

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Yet Hundal highlighted the Conservative Party’s continued refusal to hold an inquiry into Islamophobia in the party. And this is despite numerous occasions when its members have been Islamophobic in their behaviour. Hundal concluded that either the Conservatives only care about antisemitism or they’re just using it as a means to score political points:

Cleverly responded by defending his party’s “strict code of conduct”:


But people on social media were quick to cite examples of where the Conservative Party’s ‘strict code of conduct’ has been ignored:

Tory MP Michael Fabricant tweeted a disgustingly Islamophobic image of an inflatable pig having sex with London mayor Sadiq Khan. He issued a weak apology, stating it was a mistake. But former co-chair of the Conservative Party Sayeeda Warsi’s response says it all:

Fabricant is still a Conservative MP.

Not an isolated incident

And his case is far from an isolated incident:

Tory MP Bob Blackman remains in office despite a string of Islamophobia allegations. As Vice reported:

Blackman shared an article from a US anti-Muslim website called Hardcore News USA.

And he hosted an Indian Hindu nationalist who has displayed extremely Islamophobic views.

It’s no wonder Warsi is calling for an inquiry into Islamophobia within the party.

Differing responses

Antisemitism is a serious problem in Labour and across the political spectrum, as Jeremy Corbyn acknowledges. He has said:

There is no place for anti-semitism or any form of racism in the Labour party, or anywhere in society, and we will make sure that our party is a welcoming home to members of all communities

Labour has adopted a new code of conduct on the issue. Writing in the Guardian, honorary fellow of the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/Non-Jewish Relations at the University of Southampton Brian Klug argued that this code of conduct actually “enhances” the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism.

And Corbyn continues to call out antisemitism:

In doing so, he’s staying true to his parliamentary record:

Yet the Conservatives continue to ignore Islamophobia within their own party. So Hundal argued that, when high-profile Tory MPs like Cleverly attack Labour, it “smacks of hypocrisy”:

It’s almost as if they only care about racism when it will score them political points.

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Featured image via SkyNews/YouTube and MediaTrustUK/YouTube

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