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Tory Islamophobia is rampant and the party is in denial

The British Conservative Party has a problem with Islamophobia, yet there seems to be little movement on addressing it. In fact, if anything, it seems to be becoming more severe. A recent poll of party members conducted for the group Hope Not Hate found a remarkable degree of Islamophobia, with 67 percent stating that “there are areas in Britain that operate under Sharia law”, and 45 percent agreeing that “there are areas in Britain in which non-Muslims are not able to enter”. In addition, 39 percent said they believed that “Islamist terrorists reflect a widespread hostility to Britain among the Muslim community”. The vast majority said they did not feel there was a problem with Islamophobia within the party, with three-quarters stating the party was “doing all it reasonably can” to combat Islamophobia and other forms of racism. Read more

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Populist surge sinks Tories and squeezes Labour as European elections loom

Tory heavyweights today demand an end to the “virus of extremism” that has divided the country and left the Conservative Party trailing in fourth place in two opinion polls for the European elections. The former prime minister Sir John Major and former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine issued last-ditch pleas for a return to the centre ground on the eve of Thursday’s elections, in which support for the two main parties has fallen to historic lows. Read more