Theresa May condemns Boris Johnson's burka comments

Boris Johnson urged to apologise over niqab 'bank robber' comments

Johnson has come under increasing pressure in recent days and was asked to apologize for his remarks by Brandon Lewis, the chairman of the Conservative Party.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph on Monday, Britain's one-time top diplomat said women wearing the burqa looked like "letter-boxes" or "bank robbers".

David Lammy, a member of the opposition Labour Party, called Johnson a dime-store version of President Trump and said he was "fanning the flames of Islamophobia" for political gain.

News of the investigation emerged as Mr Johnson was reprimanded for breaching rules for former ministers by failing to seek advice before taking up a job as a newspaper columnist after leaving the Cabinet.

Johnson on Sunday said women who wear burqas "look like letter boxes" and compared them to "bank robbers".

A Conservative Party spokesman said: "The code of conduct process is strictly confidential".

Johnson is seen by some as a potential Conservative leader if May is forced to step down amid divisions within the party over the terms on which the United Kingdom should leave the European Union.

"We need responsibility and action from our politicians, not pandering to the far-right".

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The Conservative Party has also been accused of not doing enough to tackle anti-Muslim prejudice in its ranks, despite an initiative to boost tolerance and diversity.

Sources close to him have said that he stood by the article in which he argued against a burka ban of the kind adopted by some European countries.

An independent panel will now decide if the former Foreign Secretary has breached the Conservatives code of conduct which prohibits using the office to "unlawfully discriminate against others".

But the survey for the Sky News found people are split as to whether the former foreign secretary should apologise for his remarks - 45 per cent think he should do so, 48 per cent think he should not.

But today a prominent imam spoke out in support of Mr Johnson.

Johnson resigned as Foreign Secretary in July, accusing 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.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said Mr Johnson's comments would not "reach the bar" for a criminal offence. "He should not have used it", May said.

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