"[He] says we need more Muslim MPs, more Muslims in the House of Lords. I would actually disagree with that because one of the lessons we have learnt in the last five years in politics is that Muslims that go to Parliament don't have any morals or principles" - Baroness Warsi, Tory Shadow Cabinet minister for community cohesion.
"these remarks, coming so close to tomorrow's election, will be a severe embarrassment to the party leadership" - news report filed to The Times news desk and not published.
Next Left has been consistently positive about Conservative attempts to diversify the party's representation, since I think we should break the historic pattern of ethnic diversity in only one party, Labour, though black or Asian right-wing Tory Eurosceptics are never going to get my vote personally!
However, the unelected Tory peer Baroness Warsi - shadow Cabinet member for community cohesion - seems rather less keen, in bizarre comments which party high command is seeking to contain.
Next Left has seen a report by Times reporters Andrew Norfolk, Tom Baldwin and Richard Ford which was filed, but was not published by the newspaper today, about her comments to a Yorkshire audience of over 100 people at a dinner in honour of the visiting president of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.
"[He] says we need more Muslim MPs, more Muslims in the House of Lords. I would actually disagree with that because one of the lessons we have learnt in the last five years in politics is that Muslims that go to Parliament don't have any morals or principles."
The Times report contained criticism from Conservative and Labour voices of the remarks. It seemed to suggest that many people would find the remarks newsworthy:
Four Muslims were elected to the House of Commons at the 2005 general election, all of them Labour MPs, three of whom are seeking re-election tomorrow.In total, more than 80 Muslim candidates are standing in the general election, including several Conservatives in winnable seats. Mr Cameron has made much of his efforts to change the traditional white middle class face of his party and these remarks, coming so close to tomorrow's election, will be a severe embarrassment to the party leadership.
A Tory spokesperson told the News International newspaper "this may not have been the best way of making her point".
Lady Warsi claims that her remarks had been mis-translated, were "incorrect" and were taken "completely out of context, though the Times report states that "her speech, delivered in English and Urdu, was recorded and transcripts have since been circulated widely" - and part of the controversial comments were in English and part in Urdu.
So perhaps she will today release the remarks - and put them in context of her community cohesion efforts.
And maybe this rather newsworthy news report will surface on the paper's website today or in print tomorrow - or perhaps it will not reach the public domain before tomorrow's General Election.