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Rowan Atkinson Defends Boris Johnson Burqa Joke

Rowan Atkinson Defends Boris Johnson Burqa Joke

Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson sparked outrage on Monday after saying that he found burqas, the covering worn by some Muslim women, to be "oppressive".

Under the Conservative Party's new code of conduct, when a formal complaint is made, the party have to investigate it.

Mr Mitchell retorted: "We must keep some perspective; I don't agree with what Boris said - I think women should be allowed to wear what they want - but I do think we must careful not to go over the top on this". He is instead more likely to be told.

Prime Minister Theresa May was quick to demand he apologise, along with the party chairman Brandon Lewis and Conservative Muslim Forum leader Lord Sheikh, and now the Tory high command have launched an investigation into his conduct. This time it was the result of an article he wrote, comparing women who wear the burqa to "bank robbers" and "letter boxes".

The actor, who plays funnyman Mr Bean, said that you should only apologise for a "bad joke" and that on that basis - "no apology is required".

Senior Conservative figures attacked the prime minister after the party confirmed that following a series of complaints, Mr Johnson is to face a full investigation. "Extraordinary to think he was foreign secretary only a few weeks ago".

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He explained there was a complaints procedure within the Conservative Party and that the Party had a mechanism for dealing with these issues.

"The burqa and niqab are disgusting tribal ninja-like garments that are pre-Islamic, non-Koranic and therefore un-Muslim", he wrote in The Times. 'Completely entitled to say it'Jacob Rees-Mogg, Tory MP for North East Somerset " He's completely entitled to say it and there's nothing to apologise for", Mr Rees-Mogg told Nigel Farage on LBC.

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

Mr Mitchell, who was chief whip in 2012 and worldwide development secretary before that, told BBC Two's Newsnight: "I don't think he should apologise".

The letter also said that Johnson's choice of Islamophobic words was deliberate and "was made to inflame tensions in a way that makes it easier for bigots to justify hate crime against us", adding further support to Tory peer Lord Sheik's request that Johnson lose the party whip, meaning he would no longer represent the party.