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UK Conservatives to investigate Boris Johnson burqa comments

AP  |  London 

Former British Johnson is facing a investigation over a column comparing women who wear face-covering veils to mailboxes and

The party has received complaints that the comments breach its code of conduct, and under Conservative rules they must be investigated by an independent panel. Possible penalties include expulsion from the party.

The party confirmed it had received complaints but declined to give details today, saying that the process is confidential.

The Conservative code of conduct says members should "lead by example to encourage and foster respect and tolerance."

Johnson, who quit the government last month in a dispute over Brexit, wrote in this week that it was "absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes."

He said he opposed banning burqas and other face-covering garments won by some Muslim women, but referred to a woman wearing the attire as "looking like a " Johnson's comments were criticised by Muslim groups and politicians including Theresa May, who urged Johnson to apologise. He has not said sorry.

Tousle-headed Johnson is one of Britain's best-known politicians, a popular but divisive figure known for Latin quips and verbal blunders that have included calling Papua New Guineans cannibals and accusing people in of "wallowing" in victimhood.

Critics claim Johnson is using the burqa comments to boost his appeal among right-wing members of the party. Many expect May to face a leadership challenge soon if faltering Brexit negotiations with the don't improve and Johnson is likely to be a contender to replace her.

He is popular with the pro-Brexit wing of the Conservative Party, which is deeply divided over its attitude to the EU. His Brexiteer credentials were bolstered when he resigned as in July, accusing May of killing "the Brexit dream" with her plan to seek close economic ties with the bloc after Brexit next year.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, August 09 2018. 20:15 IST