Boris Johnson will be probed by party for burqa comments

Boris Johnson Conservative burka

They send out a message that Muslim women are fair game.

It is understood that the process is being triggered automatically after the receipt of a number of complaints over the former foreign secretary's comparison of Muslim women in face-covering veils with bank robbers or letter boxes.

She's one of 100 women who wear a niqab or burka who are calling for Mr Johnson to be kicked out of the Conservative Party.

Last June, the ethnonationalist and ethnopluralist far-right group, Generation Identity, carried out a "ban the burqa" protest in England, Northern Ireland, and Ireland.

But party rules state that formal complaints against Conservative representatives will be investigated "in a timely and confidential manner" by someone "with appropriate experience and no prior involvement in the complaint".

The repercussions could exasperate the party's growing civil war, where the debate over Johnson's comments has developed into a proxy war between Brexiteers and Remainers in the parliamentary party.

He has voiced leadership ambitions in the past and critics say the provocative remarks pander to anti-immigrant sentiment, which is sweeping Britain and swathes of Europe.

Earlier this year, The Netherlands became the ninth European Union country to outlaw face-coverings in public places, including schools, hospitals and public transport.

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".

Her mother responded to her daughter's remarks by adding, "I can't even understand what she's saying coz her face is covered".

"If a woman wants to wear a short dress, it is her right and freedom to do so".

A Home Office report said more than 80,000 incidents were recorded across England and Wales in 2016-17, a jump of almost a third on the year before.

It said Islamophobia was "heavily gendered" with white men carrying out nearly three quarters of verified incidents a year ago, while Muslim women made up more than half of victims.

The Tory MP for North East Somerset said he would not back a ban on the burka because that is not something a "free society does".

Amid calls to apologise for his remarks, a former USA diplomat, and foreign policy adviser, Jim Jatras, has claimed President Donald Trump would spark similar fury if he made similar remarks. "The language is virtually identical", he said. She said she welcomed an investigation, "but let's not pretend this is an isolated incident".



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