Andrea Leadsom has come under fire for suggesting that Islamophobia should be treated as a Foreign Office issue.

Labour frontbencher Naz Shah said she was "shocked" by the Commons Leader's "baffling" comments.

The shadow women and equalities minister added that Mrs Leadsom's response "horrifically alludes to British Muslims as foreigners".

Tory ex-minister Baroness Warsi, the first Muslim woman to sit in the Cabinet, said: "What is wrong with some of my colleagues?"

Mrs Leadsom made the remarks in response to Ms Shah's call for a Commons debate after Lady Warsi slammed the Conservatives over Islamophobia within the party.

Ms Shah added that the all-party parliamentary group on British Muslims recently published a definition of Islamophobia.

The Commons Leader said: "The Conservative party is taking very strong action in any cases of Islamophobia that we identify.

"We have been extremely robust and urgent in our response to this."

On a definition of Islamophobia, Mrs Leadsom suggested "she can discuss with Foreign Office ministers whether that would be a useful way forward".

Ms Shah said: "I was shocked by what Andrea Leadsom said in response to my genuine call for a debate on Islamophobia.

"To say that British Muslims facing Islamophobia here in the UK is a 'Foreign Office' issue is truly baffling and horrifically alludes to British Muslims as foreigners.

"It just goes to show how out of touch the Tories are with a problem that their politicians and councillors are exacerbating.

"Perhaps she doesn't want a debate as it will expose her party's failing on the problem?

"The Tories have been skirting around this big issue for years and have not addressed the elephant in the room.

"Everyday Muslims face appalling abuse on the streets and online, and it's time things changed. Islamophobia has become normalised, and we need our politicians and society to understand how and why it is so wrong, and that we need to eradicate it in all its forms."

Lady Warsi said "British Muslims are ... British", and suggested to Mrs Leadsom that the Conservatives were "in a hole" and should "stop digging".

A Commons Leader's Office spokesman said Mrs Leadsom thought Ms Shah was referring to an international definition of Islamophobia.

The spokesman said: "Islamophobia is unacceptable wherever it takes place.

"It was thought the MP for Bradford West was referring to a global definition of Islamophobia. International efforts to combat Islamophobia (and all forms of religious persecution and prejudice) are lead by the PM's special envoy on freedom of religion or belief, Lord Ahmad, at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

"Of course, any form of Islamophobia in the UK would be dealt with swiftly by the Home Office or Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government as appropriate."

A Muslim Council of Britain spokesman said: "We hope it was an honest mistake and a slip of the tongue when Andrea Leadsom suggested that the Foreign Office be tasked with the responsibility to help define Islamophobia in Britain.

"If not, it would imply that British Muslims are to be regarded as foreigners and once again appears to play to the racist trope that Muslims can never be British enough that our concerns are treated equally."

By David Hughes