Health secretary Matt Hancock has been accused of “whitesplaining” by Baroness Warsi after he said others in the party “take a more balanced approach” on Islamophobia than her.
Warsi, the former Tory party chairman who has led criticism of the Conservative hierarchy’s response to Islamophobia within its ranks, said she was “glad” to have colleagues like Hancock to educate her on the issue.
Hancock said the Tories needed to hold an inquiry on Islamophobia within the party, but claimed others “take a more balanced approach” on the issue than Warsi.
It comes after Boris Johnson said the Conservatives would be conducting a “general investigation into prejudice” – stopping short of calls for an independent inquiry.
Warsi said Johnson’s comments were “disappointing” but “predictable”, adding: “We are only anti-racist to score political points.”
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Hancock said:
Well look, I like Sayeeda (Warsi), she has a particular view on this. There are others who take a more balanced approach.
Asked if he was saying she was “unbalanced”, Hancock replied:
No, I’m certainly not saying that. I have an enormous amount of respect for Sayeeda but she does take a particular view.
There needs to be an inquiry of course, but of course you should look into all kinds of prejudice.
I think that this is something that any responsible party always needs to be on the lookout for.
Warsi tweeted in response: “Oh @MattHancock. Thank you for “whitesplaining” this to me. I’m so glad I have colleagues like you who can educate me even after my 30 years of experience of work in Race relations ‘Thousand apologies sir’.”
In an interview with BBC Radio Nottinghamshire on 8 November, Johnson said:
Saj and I are totally in agreement with this, we are doing a general investigation into prejudice of all kinds.
Asked about comments he made in the past about Muslim women wearing the Niqab looking like letterboxes, he added:
I’m very proud of my own Muslim heritage, my great-grandfather could recite the Koran off by heart … it’s absolutely true.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?