Islamophobic burqa row: May demands Johnson apology
Islamophobic burqa row: May demands Johnson apology
Theresa May condemns Boris Johnson's burka comments
11 August, 2018, 19:29
British Prime Minister Theresa May has backed calls for Boris Johnson to apologize for saying Muslim women in burkas look like "bank robbers".
He has since faced a storm of protest from inside and outside the party.
He resigned as foreign secretary in July, accusing Prime Minister 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.
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.
Johnson had already been criticism by a number of Tory politicians and Muslim groups for his comments, which "some claimed were created to pander to right-wing voters to bolster his future leadership chances", says The Guardian.
"It's the same argument but it's in a different faith so why are the parameters different for one faith and not the other?"
While former Conservative parliamentary candidate Shazia Awan-Scully accused Mr Johnson of "pandering to the extreme right", comparing his comments to Enoch Powell's divisive Rivers of Blood speech, and said he should be sacked.
The newspaper, citing unnamed party sources, reported that a formal decision to refer Johnson to an investigatory panel headed by a lawyer was expected later on Thursday. "The code of conduct process is strictly confidential", said a Conservative Party spokesman.
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She added of his comments: "I think he should apologise for them".
Describing it as an nearly ideal visual simile, he added: "All jokes about religion cause offence, so it's pointless apologising for them. On that basis, no apology is required".
"I think it's also not been shown through history that when men make sweeping statements about what women should or shouldn't wear that it goes well for them", she said. "If a female student turned up at school or at a university lecture looking like a bank robber then ditto".
But sources close to the Uxbridge MP made clear earlier this week that he stands by the article on Monday, in which he argued against a burka ban, but said that the garment was "oppressive" and "ridiculous". "It's how we work".
A total ban would "fan the flames of grievance [and] risk turning people into martyrs", he said.
May said the remarks "clearly caused offence" as she told him to say sorry.
Labour shadow equalities minister Naz Shah reiterated Mahmoud's comments in a letter to her government counterpart and Lewis, adding that Johnson's comments were "particularly troubling in light of the revelations (he) has recently been communicating with Steve Bannon". The former foreign Minister is wrong in what he did...
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