Investigative writer Mates Jacob posted a Twitter thread with evidence that Tory Chairman Brandon Lewis may have misled the public about the Conservatives’ efforts to combat Islamophobia in their ranks.

First published in March 2019.

Mates Jacob is an investigative writer who investigates institutional racism and Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.
• He wrote and shared the following story on Twitter.

I’m going to prove unequivocally that Brandon Lewis (Chairman of the Conservative Party and Minister without Portfolio since 2018) lied to us all on 7 November 2018. It wasn’t a harmless lie, it was a deeply cynical abuse of his position. He must resign. Please retweet, and please tag any journalists who might be interested.

The lie: in response to @HopeNotHate’s tweet about Islamophobia, Brandon Lewis replied: “We deal with complaints, none outstanding.”

The only logical interpretation of this is that, at that time, Brandon wasn’t aware of any unresolved Islamophobia complaints. And that was a lie.

To no longer be ‘outstanding’, a complaint would have to have been resolved somehow, after an investigation. If you haven’t followed it to some kind of conclusion, it’s still outstanding. If you haven’t even acknowledged receipt of the complaint, it’s definitely outstanding.

Below is a list of complaints that Brandon Lewis DEFINITELY knew to be outstanding on 07 November 2018. And these are just the ones we know of.

I would urge you to read the article links for each one — the stories are far worse than can be shown in 280 characters.

On 5 May 2018, the Chairman of Portsmouth South CCP wrote to Brandon Lewis to chase up “a dozen outstanding racism complaints.” Brandon Lewis never replied. Nor did he reply to Mahmoud Esmaili from the same branch who also wrote letters of complaint. Full story in The Guardian.

On 30 September 2018, the Chairman of South Shields CCP told Brandon Lewis IN PERSON about racial abuse he had suffered. Again, Brandon Lewis never replied to a single email that Mr Jagota sent him, nor took any action. Downing Street later had to apologise for his inaction. Full story in BuzzFeed.

On 30 August 2018, CCHQ officials had a meeting with Amir Sadjady, who felt he had been a victim of racial discrimination in his local party. They acknowledged that the system was open to abuse, but no follow-up action was ever taken. Full story in the Guardian.

On 4 October 2018, a Conservative official wrote to Brandon Lewis to inform him about Islamophobic abuse that my account was highlighting, asking him to investigate. No reply. She wrote again on 2 November — five days before his tweet to Hope Not Hate — yet again, no reply. Full story in BuzzFeed.

On 6 November 2018, THE DAY BEFORE Brandon tweeted his lie, Labour MP Helen Goodman wrote to him about Colin Raine, a far-right activist who organised a protest outside her office. Brandon waited until Colin’s membership lapsed, and only formally banned him a few weeks ago. Full story in the Huffington Post.

It’s not remotely plausible to suggest that Brandon Lewis considered these cases resolved by 7 November 2018. He hadn’t even replied to most of them. He was lying not just to Hope Not Hate but to Sayeeda Warsi, Lord Sheikh, the Conservative Muslim Forum, and all of us.

It seems clear to me that a lie so utterly brazen, about such a highly sensitive topic, should lead to his resignation. I just can’t accept that dishonesty is the norm, that politicians can say whatever they want for their own benefit. That’s how you get Trump.🔷

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[This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 18 March 2019 with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: Flickr/Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Govt - Brandon Lewis addressing #CIHousing16 via video link. | 5 Jul 2016. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)