Mark Spencer, the chief whip, has said a Conservative MP was referring to him when she accused a member of government of telling her she had been sacked from her ministerial post because her Muslim faith was "making colleagues uncomfortable".

Ms Nusrat told The Sunday Times a Government whip told her that her "Muslimness" had been raised as an issue during the cabinet reshuffle.

"These accusations are completely false and I consider them to be defamatory.

Nadhim Zahawi has called for an investigation into the claims.

Chief Whip Mark Spencer said in a statement : "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.

"It is disappointing that when this issue was raised before Ms Ghani declined to refer the matter to the Conservative Party for a formal investigation.

"there is no place for islamophobia or any form of racism in our conservative party," the education secretary, said.

Ms Ghani's allegations follow claims by senior Conservative backbencher William Wragg that Downing Street tried to "blackmail" MPs seeking to oust Boris Johnson.

Chris Bryant, Labour chairman of the Commons Standards Committee, said he has spoken to "about a dozen" Tories who claimed to have been bribed or threatened by government whips.

The prime minister said he had seen no evidence to support Mr Wragg's allegations.

boris johnson faces calls for an inquiry into nusrat ghani's claim in an interview with the sunday times that, when she lost her job as a transport minister, she was told that "muslimness was raised as an issue" at a meeting in downing street.

"It was like being punched in the stomach," said the MP for Wealden, who was sacked in a mini-reshuffle in February 2020 after the resignation of Sajid Javid as chancellor.

I felt humiliated and powerless".

She said she was also told that her "Muslim woman minister status was making colleagues feel uncomfortable" and that there were concerns "that I wasn't loyal to the party as I didn't do enough to defend the party against Islamophobia allegations".

"when i challenged whether this was in any way acceptable and made clear there was little i could do about my identity, i had to listen to a monologue on how hard it was to define when people are being racist and that the party doesn't have a problem and i needed to do more to defend it.

"It was very clear to me that the whips and No 10 were holding me to a higher threshold of loyalty than others because of my background and faith."

i have never used those words attributed to me."

He said the claims relate to a meeting in March 2020.

ms ghani raised the issue, she was invited to use the formal cchq complaints procedure.

mr spencer, 51, is married with children.

nus ghani is a friend, a colleague and a brilliant parliamentarian.

"this has to be investigated properly and racism routed out."

He was one of seven Tory MPs to call for Boris Johnson to resign as prime minister.

"Nus is very brave to speak out," he tweeted.

I was truly appalled to learn of her experience.

She shows such strength and integrity supporting others. ” A spokesperson for the whips' office said the allegations were "categorically untrue" and that the Conservative party did not tolerate racism or discrimination.

Ms Ghani was born in Kashmir to Pakistani parents and grew up in Birmingham.

Ms Ghani stood in the 2010 general election for the seat of Birmingham Ladywood and lost, but was elected as Wealdon MP in 2015.

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