News   /   Politics

Trevor Phillips suspended from Labour party over allegations of Islamophobia

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Trevor Phillips was a potent symbol of the Tony Blair era

The former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), Trevor Phillips, has been suspended from the Labour party pending an investigation into alleged Islamophobia.

According to the Times newspaper, Phillips, who is a close ally of former Prime Minister, Tony Blair, faces expulsion from the Labour party for alleged longstanding “prejudice against Muslims”.

A Labour party spokeswoman has said the party takes Islamophobia “extremely seriously” and that “appropriate disciplinary action” is taken against those found guilty of promoting prejudice against Muslims.

In a case that highlights the odd and complex cross-pollination between Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, Phillips was among 24 public figures who wrote to the Guardian late last year declaring their refusal to vote Labour because of the party’s alleged tolerance of anti-Semitism.

Phillips, who has been a Blair ally for nearly three decades, has recently staked out positions which are at odds with his former position as the head of the EHRC.

He has raised eyebrows by consistently attacking multi-culturalism, diversity and immigration, values and issues which he used to passionately espouse whilst leading the EHRC.

The Telegraph reported on May 10, 2016, that Phillips had claimed Britain risks “flames” of racial and religious conflict because of a “liberal self-delusion” over the “impact” of mass immigration.

Widely recognized as an astute self-publicist, Phillips was in defiant mood today about the allegations made against him and the very real risk of expulsion from the Labour party.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Phillips stood by his oft-repeated assertion that Muslims are “different”. 

Meanwhile, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), widely recognized as the UK’s leading Muslim representative body, accused Phillips of making “incendiary statements about Muslims that would be unacceptable for any other minority”.

"Mr Phillips would have us believe that he is a martyr for free speech and tolerance … But the fact remains that the deployment of these sweeping generalisations and tropes [against Muslims] would not be acceptable for any other community", a spokesman for the MCB said.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku