DOWNING Street has said an investigation into allegations of Islamophobia linked to the former chief whip Mark Spencer should not be pre-empted, following his appointment as Commons leader.

Last month Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked the Cabinet Office to “establish the facts” regarding Tory MP Nusrat Ghani’s claim that she was sacked as a minister because of concerns about her “Muslimness” in 2020.

Ghani said she was told by a Government whip that her faith made colleagues “uncomfortable”.

Spencer confirmed he was the subject of the claims, but strongly denied making the alleged comments, saying the accusations were “completely false” and “defamatory”.

Asked about reported criticism from MPs over Spencer’s move from chief whip to Commons Leader, given the ongoing investigation into the allegations, the PM’s official spokesman said conclusions should not be drawn pre-emptively.

“As you say, there is an investigation ongoing to establish the facts of what happened. And that’s being carried out in a process… in line with a due process,” he said.

“It’s right that we need to allow that investigation to conclude without… pre-empting it or drawing conclusions whilst that work is ongoing.”

The Cabinet Office probe was ordered by the PM in January after Ghani claimed to The Sunday Times that she was demoted from the position of transport minister in 2020 due to her Muslim faith.

The MP for Wealden in East Sussex said a Government whip told her that her “Muslimness” had been raised as an issue.

Spencer identified himself as the whip in question, but denied the substance of the alleged conversation.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said at the time it was “important” the matter was looked into “properly”.

Speaking to Sky News after Johnson ordered the probe, the Cabinet minister said: “She has made a very serious allegation, the Prime Minister spoke to her last night and said the Cabinet Office will investigate this and look at the detail of this.

“She put out a statement last night saying actually, to be fair to her, this could be people who weren’t even members of the Conservative Party, which is why we need to get to the bottom of this very quickly.

“And of course the chief whip has come out and named himself as the individual and I work with both colleagues, and I think it is important that someone like a Cabinet Office senior civil servant should look at this properly, because the chief whip has also categorically denied this.”