UK's May says Boris Johnson should apologize over burqa comments

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Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis ordered Mr Johnson to apologise following a hail of criticism over the remarks, which were labelled "bigotry" by former Tory chair Baroness Warsi.

Former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson sparked a row over Islamophobia by describing Muslim women wearing burqas as "ridiculous" and "weird".

A string of other Conservatives have queued up to criticise Johnson, with Theresa May saying he used the wrong language and Lord Sheikh calling for the whip to be withdrawn.

The party's code of conduct says that MPs and other holders of public office should "not use their position to bully, abuse, victimise, harass or unlawfully discriminate against others" and "foster respect and tolerance".

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He added: "The retrogressive Islamic clergy has succeeded in persuading ill-informed Muslims through suspect secondary sources that God wants women to cover their faces, when in reality it is a toxic patriarchy controlling women".

But the former top diplomat, who has a reputation for causing controversy and quit May's cabinet last month in protest at her Brexit plan, refused to back down.

Johnson is yet to issue a response. "I will defend the basic principle which is the right to choose", added the Janaan actor.

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".

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"We have to call it out".

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said Mr Johnson's comments would not "reach the bar" for a criminal offence.

"Johnson did not go far enough".

"It's not the job of the Prime Minister to tell backbenchers what to do".

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Boris Johnson and Armeena Khan.

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