Boris Johnson under fire for comparing burqas to 'letter boxes'

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                    Labour MP Naz Shah has said Theresa May must condemn Boris Johnson for his comments

PA Archive PA Images Labour MP Naz Shah has said Theresa May must condemn Boris Johnson for his comments

Her colleague David Lammy added: 'Muslim women are having their burkas pulled off by thugs in our streets and Boris Johnson's response is to mock them for "looking like letter boxes".

A fine of about €120 has already been imposed on a woman wearing wearing a full-face veil in a shopping centre in the town of Hørsholm, after another woman reportedly tried to tear it off.

He wrote on Twitter: "Boris Johnson says a woman in niqab is "looking like a bank robber" or "looking like letter boxes".

"If a female student turned up at school or at a university lecture looking like a bank robber then those in authority should be allowed to converse openly with those that they are being asked to instruct", he wrote.

Britain's ex-top diplomat has enraged MPs and political commentators on social media, with some accusing him of "fanning the flames of Islamophobia" and others insisting a gaffe is not a gaffe if it's repeated continually, considering Johnson's chequered history on issues of race.

Labour MP Jess Phillips said she would report Mr Johnson to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Mr Johnson, often tipped to become the next Conservative leader, made the comments in his Daily Telegraph column on Monday, outlining his opposition to Denmark's recent burqa ban.

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.

Labour MP David Lammy used the article to brand Mr Johnson a "pound-shop Donald Trump".

Former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is coming under fire after making Islamophobic remarks targeting Muslim women wearing burqas.

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"We need responsibility and action from our politicians, not pandering to the far-right", said the MCB in reaction to Johnson's latest remarks.

The assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, MiqdaadVersi, said Johnson was "pandering to the far right".

Sayeeda Warsi, a senior Tory member, last month called for an inquiry into allegations of Islamophobia in the party.

The imam of Finsbury Park mosque, Mohammed Mahmoud, has, meanwhile, accused the government of failing to show "meaningful engagement" with the Muslim community.

Mahmoud also highlighted how Bob Blackman, a Conservative MP, had shared a tweet posted by far-right activist Tommy Robinson, and shared a platform with Tapan Ghosh, an anti-Muslim Hindu extremist.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) wrote two letters to the Conservatives this year urgently calling for an inquiry, as have groups such as the National Union of Students, the Union of Jewish Students, and institutions representing over 200 mosques in the United Kingdom.

Other Muslim organisations also condemned Johnson.

"Saying Muslim women look like letterboxes, comparing them to bank robbers and describing Islam as a "problem" was a calculated attack and published in a national newspaper", she added.

He said: "The way he goes on for sentence after sentence, nearly half his article, slagging off women who wear a niqab and a burka in very derogatory language was deplorable".

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