Britain’s Conservative Party called Thursday for an investigation of former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, due to complaints about remarks he made about Muslim women wearing burqas.
The party, also known as the Tories, said dozens of complaints about Johnson’s comments will be investigated to see if they violated the party’s code of conduct.
An independent panel will conduct the inquiry, as the first step in a process that could lead to his expulsion from the party. That, however, would also need Prime Minister Theresa May’s approval.
In an op-ed published in The Telegraph last weekend, Johnson compared women in burqas to “letter boxes” and “bank robbers.” The column expressed his opinion that Denmark should not have banned burqas, even though he called them “oppressive” and “ridiculous.” The Danish ban took effect Aug. 1.
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“Muslim women are having their burqas pulled off by thugs in our streets & Boris Johnson’s response is to mock them for ‘looking like letter boxes,'” Labor Party lawmaker David Lammy said in a tweet. “Our pound-shop Donald Trump is fanning the flames of Islamophobia to propel his grubby electoral ambitions.”
Johnson, who resigned as British foreign secretary last month, has refused to apologize for what he wrote. He was replaced in the role by Jeremy Hunt.