Boris Johnson under mounting pressure to apologize for controversial burqa comments

Aaron Brown
August 9, 2018

"Farah" is far from alone in feeling this way, with prominent Muslim woman doctor Qanta Ahmed saying Boris Johnson was right to criticise the burqa, which she branded an "an anti-Western pro-Islamist political statement".

Johnson, who quit the government last month in a dispute over Brexit, made the remarks in a Daily Telegraph article published Monday.

In his controversial column, Johnson said he opposed a ban on face-covering veils, but added it was "absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter-boxes".

Pakistani actor Armeena Khan called out former British foreign secretary Boris Johnson over his derogatory comments against women who wear the burqa.

Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis ordered Mr Johnson to apologise following a hail of criticism over the remarks, which were labelled "bigotry" by former Tory chair Baroness Warsi.

Scotland Yard chief Cressida Dick said the comments did not amount to a hate crime and police have not received any criminal complaint against Mr Johnson. May said she agreed with Lewis. "I will defend the basic principle which is the right to choose". The ban was upheld in 2017 by the European Court of Human Rights following a challenge by two Muslim women.

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When asked about Mr Johnson he appeared to respond with apparent irony: "What a great guy".

And Tory peer Lord Sheikh, president of the Conservative Muslim Forum, has written to party bosses demanding he is kicked out of the party.

The party's code of conduct says that MPs and other holders of public office should "not use their position to bully, abuse, victimise, harass or unlawfully discriminate against others" and "foster respect and tolerance".

She then posted a link to a story from 2015 where she was "manhandled" by a Tory activist after attempting to engage Johnson in a debate about the issues in Ealing.

But this could ignite a civil war in a party in which many members see him as the best option to succeed Mrs May as leader.

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