Boris Johnson Will Be Taking Burka Comment Criticism In His Stride

12 Août, 2018, 14:05 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Burka Row

The Conservative Party investigation into allegedly Islamophobic comments by Boris Johnson has been labelled a "show trial" by Mr Rees-Mogg, in an article for The Daily Telegraph.

The Tory backbencher and fellow Brexiteer said Theresa May's "personal rivalry" with the former Foreign Secretary was taking "the heat off Labour", who are in the midst of a row about anti-Semitism.

Mr Johnson said women in burkas looked like "letter boxes" or "bank robbers".

Johnson's remarks, also in a column for the Daily Telegraph, split the Tory party who received dozens of complaints.

Mr Johnson, who is holidaying overseas, is yet to respond to the furore sparked by his article on Monday in which he said Muslim women wearing the burka looked like "letter boxes" or bank robbers.

Mr Rees-Mogg suggested the attacks on Mr Johnson's comment were a reflection of "envy" felt towards him because of "his many successes, popularity with voters and charisma".

"Could it be that there is a nervousness that a once and probably future leadership contender is becoming too popular and needs to be stopped?".

"This may explain the attempt to use the Conservative Party's disciplinary procedures, but it has been handled so ham-fistedly that it brings only sympathy and support for Mr Johnson", he wrote.

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"Attacking Boris merely helps the opposition".

In a statement, Mr Khan said: "The impact of Boris Johnson's comments are real and worrying and indicate the importance of a full, transparent and independent investigation into his conduct, in particular given the lack of action in previous cases of Islamophobia in the party".

The Downing Street source said the party has to investigate any complaint.

On Friday, the Equalities and Human Rights Committee said that Johnson's comments were "inflammatory and divisive" and risked "vilifying Muslim women", but added that they did not believe they amounted to hate speech or were criminal.

The founder of the Conservative Muslim Forum, Lord Sheikh, has written to Mr Lewis demanding "serious action", while former attorney general Dominic Grieve said he would quit the party if Mr Johnson became prime minister.

But comedian Rowan Atkinson was among those who expressed support for Mr Johnson.

There were further signs of grassroots Tory anger over the affair, with the Telegraph giving over its whole letters page to reaction from readers after being "inundated" with messages of support for Mr Johnson.

A panel will look into the complaints against Mr Johnson's comments.

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