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UK investigating lawmaker’s claim she was fired over her Muslim faith

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Senators have a breakfast meeting during his visit to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.
Greg Nash

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered an investigation after a Conservative member of parliament said she was fired from her role as British transport minister because of her Muslim faith. 

On Monday, Johnson’s office said government officials had been asked “to establish the facts about what happened,” adding that the prime minister “takes these claims very seriously,” The Associated Press reported.

The investigation comes after Nusrat Ghani said she lost her job in Johnson’s government because her “Muslimness” was “making colleagues uncomfortable.”

“It was very clear to me that the Whips and No. 10 (Downing St.) were holding me to a higher threshold of loyalty than others because of my background and faith,” she added to the Sunday Times.

In a tweet responding to Ghani’s allegations, Chief Whip Mark Spencer said the claims were about him, though he denied any wrongdoing. 

“To ensure other Whips are not drawn into this matter, I am identifying myself as the person Nusrat Ghani MP has made claims about this evening. These accusations are completely false and I consider them to be defamatory. I have never used those words attributed to me,” he tweeted on Saturday.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi, both senior Cabinet ministers, have voiced their support of Ghani and called for her allegations to be investigated, according to the AP.

Ghani’s allegations have added to recent controversy surrounding Johnson, who was the subject of criticism following reports that he attended a party at his Downing Street office at the height of COVID-19 lockdowns.

While the prime minister has since apologized for that gathering, a conservative British lawmaker alleged last week that the government was trying to “blackmail” lawmakers who wanted Johnson out of office.

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