United Kingdom: 100 Muslim women seek Johnson's ouster from Tories

United Kingdom: 100 Muslim women seek Johnson's ouster from Tories

The row over his comments has split the Conservatives, with the prime minister and others calling on the ex-foreign secretary to apologise and others demanding he should lose the whip.

The Conservative MP will face an investigatory panel for a possible breach of his party's code of conduct, the first step in disciplinary action that has been called for by a number of Conservative MPs and independent organisations.

He wrote: 'As a lifelong beneficiary of the freedom to make jokes about religion, I do think that Boris Johnson's joke about wearers of the burka resembling letterboxes is a pretty good one'. "On that basis, no apology is required", he wrote, in a letter to the Times.

But sources close to the former foreign secretary made clear earlier this week he stands by Monday's article, in which he argued against a burka ban, but said the face-covering veil was "oppressive" and "ridiculous".

But Atkinson, in a letter to The Times, said the MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip had just been telling a joke.

'You should really only apologise for a bad joke.

'Full bandwagon jumping territory'Conor Burns, Tory MP for Bournemouth West'It's bash Boris'Andrew Bridgen, Tory MP for North West Leicestershire " This [inquiry is] being use to try and discredit Boris Johnson from people who are anxious about him in inside the Conservative party and outside the Conservative party.

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"The burqa and niqab are ugly tribal ninja-like garments that are pre-Islamic, non-Koranic and therefore un-Muslim", he wrote in The Times.

He is considered a frontrunner to replace May should she resign, and has support among Conservative supporters to the right of the prime minister.

Some things are as certain as night following day or Jeff Stelling getting over-excited about a fairly innocuous footballing incident - and sure enough, Boris Johnson sparked outrage this week.

Boris Johnson could be told to go on a diversity training course instead of facing more severe sanctions for his comments over Burkas, The Telegraph has learned.

"I fear an eruption of anger amongst our party's core voters and grassroots activities if this obsessive political correctness doesn't stop".

"I think it's a very dark day for our democracy and free speech and I'm deeply anxious that this policy is being adopted by the Conservative Party, if we're not the party of free speech, then who is?"

He added: "But let's look at what Boris said: he expressed himself in quite colourful language".

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