View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. UK Politics
7 March 2019

WATCH: Tory minister Andrea Leadsom thinks Muslims are a case for “foreign ministers”

Apparently, to the Leader of the House of Commons, Muslim equals foreign.

By Media Mole

The Conservative party absolutely does not have a problem with Muslims, okay? Look, here’s proof!

During an exchange in the Commons, the Conservative Leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom has encouraged the Labour MP Naz Shah – who is concerned about Islamophobia in the governing party – to seek an adjournment debate on defining Islamophobia!

See! Totally non-racist! Nothing to see here!

Except………. Leadsom concluded her response to Shah by telling her that this would give her the opportunity “to discuss with foreign ministers whether that would be a useful way forward”.

“Foreign ministers”.

Shah had asked about British Muslims. The Tory row is over racism towards British Muslims. And the working definition of Islamophobia is a recommendation for the UK government.

The conclusion? Leadsom made a Muslims = foreign sum in her head, and decided this was an issue for the Foreign Office.

“When did attacks on BRITISH Muslims become a foreign issue?” Shah responded on Twitter.

“Wwwwwhhhhhhaaaaaatttttt?” was former cabinet minister and Tory peer Sayeeda Warsi’s reaction on Twitter. “British Muslims are errrrr British. What is wrong with some of my colleagues. We are in a hole …..stop digging!”

UPDATE: In an unprecedented development, the Leader of the House has approached your Mole’s burrow directly, to request that we append a statement. And since your Mole believes in fair play and transparency and such like here it is:

A Leader’s Office spokesperson said: “Islamophobia is unacceptable wherever it takes place. It was thought that the MP for Bradford West was referring to a global definition of Islamophobia. International efforts to combat Islamophobia (and all forms of religious persecution and prejudice) are led by the PM’s special envoy on freedom of religion or belief, Lord Ahmad, at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Of course, any form of Islamophobia in the UK would be dealt with swiftly by Home Office or MHCLG as appropriate.”

So, there you go.

Content from our partners
Unlocking the potential of a national asset, St Pancras International
Time for Labour to turn the tide on children’s health
How can we deliver better rail journeys for customers?

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.