BORIS Johnson has insisted he takes claims a Tory MP was sacked as a minister for being Muslim “extremely seriously” despite waiting 18 months to launch an inquiry.

The Prime Minster today announced the Cabinet Office would examine allegations made by Nusrat Ghani that her dismissal in February 2020 was related to her faith.

Ms Ghani claimed that “Muslimness was raised as an issue” in her sacking, and she was told by a party whip that being a Muslim woman made her colleagues “uncomfortable”.

The former transport minister also revealed she spoken to the Prime Minister personally about it in July the same year, but he said he could not get involved.

Instead, he said she could raise the matter with Tory HQ, something Ms Ghani said was not appropriate as her sacking was a government matter, not party business.

“All I have ever wanted was for his Government to take this seriously, investigate properly and ensure no other colleague has to endure this,” the Wealden MP said.

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab yesterday said there would be no “specific investigation” unless Ms Ghani made a formal complaint.

However after senior colleagues, including Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi and Health Secretary Sajid Javid, backed her call for an inquiry, Number 10 relented. 

Mr Johnson has asked the Cabinet Office to “establish the facts” regarding the claims of Islamophobia made by the Conservative MP.

He said: “We take these allegations extremely seriously, I took them very seriously when they were raised with me 18 months ago… very glad there’s an investigation taking place now. I can’t say more, really, about it.”

Chief Whip Mark Spencer has said he spoke to Ms Ghani at the time of her sacking, but strongly denies her claims, calling them “completely false” and “defamatory”.

Asked if Mr Spencer could stay in post while the investigation was conducted, Mr Johnson dodged the question, saying: “This is something I take personally extremely seriously, I took it very seriously 18 months ago, we must wait and see what the investigation produces.”

The row over Ms Ghani is the latest to involve the Tory party whips, who have also been accused in recent days of bullying and 'blackmail' to keep Mr Johnson in office.