Lord Pickles Backs Calls For Boris To Apologise Over Burka Remarks

Boris Johnson under fire for ‘hate’ burqa comments

Theresa May condemns Boris Johnson's burka comments

But the MP Nadine Dorries, retorted: "The people in Westminster who are so outraged are actually terrified that at some stage any day soon Boris may make a challenge for the leadership and Number 10".

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

Baroness Warsi repeated her calls for an investigation into Islamophobia within the Conservative party in a piece in the Guardian, and noted there had been a 26% rise in hate crimes against Muslims previous year, according to figures from monitoring group Tell Mama.

Scotland Yard chief Cressida Dick said the comments did not amount to a hate crime and police have not received any criminal complaint against Mr Johnson.

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.

Speaking to Shelagh Fogarty, Lord Pickles said Mr Johnson's argument for not banning the burka had been lost by his "unfortunate" words.

She said: 'It's this thing about not taking things seriously, you know, like the old Boris of old: "Oh sorry, I've just s***ged your wife, didn't realise", that kind of thing'.

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The quake , which struck on Sunday evening near the neighbouring island of Lombok, killed scores of people and injured many more. Workers with heavy machinery are searching the rubble of homes, schools and mosques, with hope of finding any survivors fading.

A source close to Johnson said, "We must not fall into the trap of shutting down the debate on hard issues".

Following a growing chorus of condemnation over Johnson's derogatory views he made about Muslim women wearing burqas, Britain's Conservative Party Chairman Brandon Lewis said on Tuesday he had asked Johnson to apologize.

But Mr Johnson has far more support among the public - with a Sky poll finding that six out of ten Britons do not think his remarks were racist.

But other Tories have come to Johnson's defence.

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.

He added that he could not find scriptural authority for the dress code in the Koran.

"I would go further and say that is it absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes".

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