Belfast Telegraph

Boris burka comments divisive, says commission

By Andrew Woodcock

Boris Johnson's comments on the burka have been branded "inflammatory and divisive" by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The Commission said it had received a complaint from a member of the public about Mr Johnson's controversial article in the Daily Telegraph, but has not launched an investigation into the former foreign secretary.

The Conservative Party's announcement that Mr Johnson would face an inquiry has provoked a furious war of words, with many Tories regarding the move as an over-reaction.

Former chief whip Andrew Mitchell said there was no need for the former Cabinet minister to apologise for his "colourful" language.

The Daily Mail said it received one of its largest postbags ever from hundreds of readers, with 19 backing Mr Johnson to every one that was critical.

And the Uxbridge MP also won support from a surprising source when comedian Rowan Atkinson waded into the furore.

The Blackadder and Mr Bean star said the former Cabinet minister had made a "pretty good" joke when he suggested women wearing face-veils looked like letterboxes, and insisted it was pointless to apologise for joking about religion as it always causes offence.

In a letter to The Times, he wrote: "You should really only apologise for a bad joke. On that basis, no apology is required."

Mr Johnson, who is holidaying abroad, has so far made no response to the launch of the Tory investigation.

Belfast Telegraph


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