Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Boris Johnson in the hot seat over Muslim veil 'letter box' comments

Boris Johnson in the hot seat over Muslim veil 'letter box' comments

He has faced fierce criticism for comparing women wearing the conservative Islamic dress to letter boxes and bank robbers.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said Johnson had been "rude and gratuitous" and "knew exactly what he was doing".

On Tuesday, Primne Minister Theresa May joined the growing chorus of lawmakers publicly rebuking Johnson over his choice of language.

Party chairman Brandon Lewis will nominate two members of the panel, and because the complaint is about a member of Parliament, a third will be nominated by Graham Brady, the chairman of the party's backbench 1922 committee.

Interviewed in the Daily Telegraph in July, Bannon appeared to be of a similar opinion: "Now is the moment".

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

And an imam who has previously criticised the burka said Mr Johnson should not "apologise for telling the truth".

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Sources close to Mr Johnson, who is now facing investigation by the party, defended his comments and claimed it was "ridiculous that these views are being attacked". She said she welcomed an investigation, "but let's not pretend this is an isolated incident". For, if they do remain in thrall to Mr Johnson and his blunderbus approach, the Tory party will have even less public credibility in the future.

Mei argues that it is important that each of us have been cautious in terms of use, and emphasized that she would never use such expressions. "If a female student turned up at school or at a university lecture looking like a bank robber then ditto".

Johnson has so far refused requests to apologise for the comments.

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.

Meanwhile, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police said Mr Johnson's comments do not constitute a crime.

According to the BBC, Johnson's supporters defended his remarks, saying that he was simply sticking up for "liberal values".

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