MP Nusrat Ghani speaks during a session in Parliament in London, Britain Photograph:( Reuters )
Mark Spencer, the government's chief whip, said he was the person at the centre of Ghani's allegations
British MP Nusrat Ghani has alleged that she was sacked from her job in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative government for being Muslim.
The 49-year-old told the Sunday Times that a whip said her "Muslimness was raised as an issue" at a meeting in Downing Street.
She was also told her "Muslim woman minister status was making colleagues feel uncomfortable", she claimed.
The former transport minister said she was told this by a "whip," an enforcer of parliamentary discipline.
Mark Spencer, the government's chief whip, said he was the person at the centre of Ghani's allegations.
"These accusations are completely false and I consider them to be defamatory," he said on Twitter. "I have never used those words attributed to me."
"We have absolutely zero tolerance for any discrimination, and any Islamophobia, in the Conservative Party," Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab told Sky News on Sunday.
"A claim like this, as serious as it is, should be properly reported, and then a proper investigation (should take place)."
The government whips are in the spotlight at the moment after they were accused by Tory MP William Wragg of "blackmailing" critics of under-fire Prime Minister Boris Johnson in order to prevent them from trying to oust him.
Johnson's office said that the prime minister was aware of the claims at the time, and that he had invited her to make a formal complaint.
"After being made aware of these extremely serious claims, the Prime Minister met with Nusrat Ghani to discuss them," said a Downing Street spokesperson.
"He then wrote to her expressing his serious concern and inviting her to begin a formal complaint process. She did not subsequently do so. The Conservative Party does not tolerate prejudice or discrimination of any kind."
(With inputs from agencies)