This open letter has been sent to the Party Chairman today:
You will be aware of the recent controversy caused by the Conservative Muslim Forum's response to Pauline Neville-Jones' national security report, 'An Unquiet World'. The CMF, which is headquartered at CCHQ and uses the party's logo, took issue with a number of The Unquiet World's conclusions. You will remember that it opposed the proposal that preachers who campaign against our nation's democratic institutions be refused entry to Britain. It also called for full engagement with the MCB, an organisation that Baroness Neville-Jones said "uses identity politics to pursue a domestic and international policy agenda sympathetic to Islamists.”
It is, of course, vital that free speech flourishes within the Conservative Party but I would value your reassurance as to what steps have been taken to ensure that the CMF has not been - and cannot be - infiltrated by groups or individuals with hostile agendas. Given its privileged place inside Conservative HQ I hope you agree that these are reasonable concerns.
- I understand that Lord Sheikh is Chairman of the CMF but does the Forum have a governing board? If so, who sits on the CMF's board?
- How often does the CMF meet?
- Are any of its meetings minuted? Who has access to those minutes, if they exist?
- Is it a democratic body?
- Who exactly wrote the CMF's recent paper and its criticisms of the policy group report?
- Is the CMF part-sponsored by Conservative Party funds? Who, for example, pays for its website?
- Do you know if its leading players are attached to some of the groups that Baroness Neville-Jones has criticised?
Thank you for your time.
I will be publishing this letter on ConservativeHome.