Should Boris Johnson apologise for his comments about burkas?


Johnson has yet to comment on the row triggered by his Daily Telegraph column on Monday - but has show no sign of backing down.

The former foreign secretary used his column to comment on Denmark's introduction of a burka ban.

Sayeeda Warsi, a Conservative member of the House of Lords, said Johnson was using Muslim women as a "convenient political football to try and increase his poll ratings".

The Conservatives were gripped by in-fighting last night as prominent party figures warned that they would walk out of the party if Boris Johnson ever became Prime Minister.

She wrote, "As a feminist, what really disgusts me in this whole episode is that Muslim women are simply political fodder, their lives a convenient battleground on which to stake out a leadership bid". May acknowledged that Johnson's comments had "clearly caused offence".

And Tory peer Lord Sheikh, president of the Conservative Muslim Forum, has written to party bosses demanding he is kicked out of the party.

More news: Hurricane John absorbs tropical storm off Mexico

She then posted a link to a story from 2015 where she was "manhandled" by a Tory activist after attempting to engage Johnson in a debate about the issues in Ealing. By a narrow margin of 48 per cent to 45 per cent they thought he did not need to say sorry for his comments.

If disciplinary action follows, Mr Johnson could be suspended or even expelled if he was found to be in breach of the Tory code of conduct.

The burka is a full face covering that is associated with a conservative interpretation of Islam.

But Johnson also said the robe was oppressive, ridiculous and made women look like letter boxes and bank robbers, prompting an outcry from other politicians and British Muslim groups.

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".

He said: "It is not acceptable to describe someone as looking like a postbox or a robber".