The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has written to ITV questioning its decision not to raise the issue of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party during last night’s debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn.
During the debate Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was asked about alleged antisemitism in his party, but despite Islamophobia in the Conservative Party making headlines recently ITV presenter Julie Etchingham failed to raise the issue.
The Prime Minister, who has a record of making offensive Islamophobic remarks, was not questioned over his own conduct, nor over the string of incidents over the last week which has seen prospective parliamentary candidates, councillors and party members exposed for making or endorsing Islamophobic comments.
The MCB called this editorial decision by ITV “seriously concerning,” and has asked for a full explanation as to why Islamophobia, despite being an issue of great importance to many voters – Muslim and non-Muslim – was blatantly omitted from the debate.
Mr Johnson and other Conservative Party leadership contenders all pledged to hold an external inquiry into Islamophobia in the party in June this year but have since reneged on this.
Commenting, Secretary General of the MCB Harun Khan said: “Last night’s thorough debate explored a number of important issues that will be at the forefront of people’s minds on 12th December. It makes no sense whatsoever therefore that ITV felt it was not important enough to call out and hold the Prime Minister to account over Islamophobia in the Conservative Party, which we know to be a systemic problem of great significance to many people.
“Even if we were to overlook the Conservative Party’s history, and indeed the Prime Minister’s own history with Islamophobia, the last week has brought enough new cases of Islamophobia from within its ranks for it to be discussed and raised in last night’s debate.
“We should be holding all parties equally responsible over incidents of racism. Muslims, and racism against Muslims, should not be considered less important and ITV’s failure to address this is deeply disappointing.”