Conservative Baroness Sayeeda Warsi has said that she will not change her opinions “because some right-wing blog might have something to say about it”. Baroness Warsi, who is Minister for Faith and Communities, was interviewed for the Independent about her often outspoken views on things like women’s rights, homosexuality and religion.
The former solicitor was made a member of the House of Lords in 2007, and was previously chairman of the Conservative Party. Her views have meant that she is rarely out of the headlines.
Warsi has been criticised for opposing the Burka ban in France, claiming that the garment was no different to a miniskirt. She said: “I think I would be as offended if I was told ‘actually you must wear a miniskirt to work because that’s that we like women to wear’ as I would be if somebody came to me and said ‘we want you to be covered from head to toe because that’s what we like woman to wear’.”
Members of her family have previously been linked to the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, and Warsi has hosted a conference with Hamas sympathisers. Last year, she was found to be providing incorrect information to a question in the House of Lords. In her role as a senior minister of state at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Warsi grossly misrepresented the number of Palestinians killed by Israel forces since January 2012, telling the house that it was 3,643 when in reality it was around 200.
Despite the criticism against her she remains unapologetic for her colourful opinions. In the interview she said: “I’ve just been me. I’ve just been me at the beginning. I was me in the middle and I’m me now.
“If at times they thought I was fantastic and the bees’ knees, then fine. If people think I’m not the bees’ knees any more, then so what? I’m still me. I don’t change what I think about myself because some right-wing blog might have something to say about me. You have to come into politics with a clear sense of what you want to achieve and an exit date, because I think it makes you sane.”
In 2009 Baroness Warsi was pelted by Muslim extremists from the now-banned Al-Muhajiroun group because she refused to condemn the war in Afghanistan. They claimed she was “not a proper Muslim”.