Boris Johnson under mounting pressure to apologize for controversial burqa comments

Boris Johnson under fire for ‘hate’ burqa comments

Boris Johnson under fire for ‘hate’ burqa comments

In a column in Monday's Daily Telegraph newspaper, Johnson said women wearing the full face veil looked like "bank robbers" or "letter-boxes", prompting accusations of Islamophobia.

Prime Minister Theresa May joined in the chorus of calls for Johnson to apologize.

Johnson resigned as Foreign Secretary in July, accusing Theresa May of killing "the Brexit dream" with her plan to seek close economic ties with the European Union after the United Kingdom leaves the bloc next year.

An independent panel will examine the complaints against Johnson.

Absent from the 2016 leadership contest when key allies withdrew their support on the eve of his campaign launch, Mr Johnson failed to bring any statesmanship to the Foreign Office.

Johnson labelled Muslim dress "oppressive", and claimed of the niqab: "It is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes". Having someone such as Boris Johnson, ridicule women who wear burka undermines the work that we and other organisations are involved in. She said she welcomed an investigation, "but let's not pretend this is an isolated incident".

The party has received complaints that the comments breach its code of conduct, and under Conservative rules they must be investigated by an independent panel.

"I think Boris Johnson used language in describing people's appearance that has obviously caused offence", she said.

Schools and universities should be able to take the same approach if a student "turns up. looking like a bank robber".

In response to Johnson's remarks, the Muslim Council of Britain said that Johnson was "pandering to the far right" with his remarks.

A source told the BBC that it was "ridiculous" to attack the former minister's views. "If we fail to speak up for liberal values then we're simply yielding ground to reactionaries & extremists".

But it's also "impossible to ignore the fact that pretty much all the senior Tories who have criticised Johnson so far" voted Remain in the European Union referendum and that those lining up to defend him "are largely Brexiteers", says Politico.

Johnson is known for his bombast, elocution, gaffes and provocative stunts, but even a few fellow Tories said he had gone too far this time.

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