Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Boris Johnson under mounting pressure to apologize for controversial burqa comments

Boris Johnson under mounting pressure to apologize for controversial burqa comments

His comments come after Johnson has faced multiple calls to apologise after a column in the Daily Telegraph where he likened women who wear burqas to "letter boxes" and bank robbers.

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".

North East Bedfordshire MP Alistair Burt also took the opposite view to Ms Dorries.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said he should apologise, as has Conservative party chair Brandon Lewis.

"I believe it was an accurate description, it was one that many people have used", she said.

"As we openly discuss these issues, it is imperative that everybody is careful in the language that they use".

There was no immediate sign that Johnson planned to back down. He resigned as foreign secretary in July, accusing 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.

Many expect May to face a leadership challenge if faltering Brexit negotiations don't improve - and Johnson is likely to be a contender to replace her.

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. "He should not have used it", May said.

"These were offensive comments but clever politics", she said.

Speaking in Edinburgh, she said: "I believe and the Government believes, that the question of how a woman should dress is a matter for a woman's individual choice; nobody should be telling a woman how to dress". The clothing has already been banned in France.

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