A cabinet minister has been accused of “whitesplaining” Islamophobia by a senior Muslim Tory peer after suggesting she failed to take a “balanced approach” on the issue.
Matt Hancock sparked a row when he claimed other Conservatives took a “more balanced approach” to the issue of anti-Muslim hate in Tory ranks than former chairman Sayeeda Warsi.
Baroness Warsi, who was the female Muslim to attend cabinet, has been campaigning for a full independent inquiry into Islamophobia.
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However the prime minister said the Conservatives would be conducting a “general investigation into prejudice” stopping short of Baroness Warsi’s calls for an independent probe.
Mr Hancock told the Today programme: “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”, the health secretary said: “No, I’m certainly not saying that. I have an enormous amount of respect for Sayeeda but she does take a particular view.”
He added: “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 look-out for.”
Baroness Warsi posted on Twitter: “Oh @MattHancock Thank you for whitesplaining this to me.
“Im 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”.
More follows…