Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Johnson facing Tory probe over burka comments

Johnson facing Tory probe over burka comments

British Prime Minister Theresa May says "nobody should be trying to tell a woman how to dress" after her former foreign minister, Boris Johnson, said the Islamic veil made women look like letter boxes and bank robbers.

The comments were made in Johnson's weekly column for Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, in which he was criticizing Denmark's recent implementation of a burqa ban.

Speaking on his LBC show, he said: "I think the portrayal of Islam as a threat, the portrayal of Islam as a murderous cult is not being done by Muslims".

If an investigation does conclude that Johnson has breached the party's code of conduct, the party could opt to disassociate itself from him in an action known as having the whip withdrawn.

A panel of at least three people, appointed by Mr Lewis, will include one independent member, one representative of the voluntary party and one nominated by the chair of the backbench 1922 Committee.

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Johnson also noted that if "a female student turned up at school or at a university lecture looking like a bank robber", he would request that she remove the burqa if she wanted to speak with him.

Johnson, who resigned last month over the Chequers Brexit deal, prompting an outcry from other politicians and Muslim groups with his comments.

"I'm not a Muslim woman..." "People do not want a vision of our country thrust down their throat either by me, by Boris or by anybody else".

Conservative peer Sayeeda Warsi, a former party chairwoman, accused Johnson of adopting the "dog-whistle" tactics of right-wing firebrand Steve Bannon, US President Donald Trump's former top aide. They send out a message that Muslim women are fair game.

So will he say sorry?

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A source told the BBC that it was "ridiculous" to attack the former minister's views.

Mr Johnson, who is holidaying overseas, has made no response to demands for an apology. "We have to call it out".

'Johnson did not go far enough.

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.

She said: "I also know that many other people believe strongly that in the whole of the article, what Mr Johnson appears to have been attempting to do was to say that there shouldn't be a ban and that he was engaging in a legitimate debate".

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