Boris Johnson under mounting pressure to apologize for controversial burqa comments

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Prime Minister Theresa May joined in the chorus of calls for Johnson to apologize.

He also said schools and universities are entitled to take the same approach if a pupil comes in "looking like a bank robber".

60 per cent - said the comments by the former foreign secretary were not racist, while 33 per cent thought they were. By a narrow margin of 48 per cent to 45 per cent they thought he did not need to say sorry for his comments.

The Belgian parliament passed a bill in 2010 to ban any clothing that would obscure the identity of the wearer in public places.

Baroness Warsi repeated her calls for an investigation into Islamophobia within the Conservative party in a piece in the Guardian, and noted there had been a 26% rise in hate crimes against Muslims past year, according to figures from monitoring group Tell Mama.

'For this reason Britain must emulate France, Belgium, Austria, Bulgaria and Denmark in banning the burka'.

Parliament agreed a ban on face-covering garments for soldiers, state workers vehicle and truck drivers in 2017.

He also argued against banning burkas and niqabs in the United Kingdom in the piece.

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"I don't regard him as a fit and proper person to lead a political party and certainly not the Conservative Party".

The Conservative party has to decide between being a "genuine one nation force" or "an English nationalist movement" in the light of Boris Johnson's comments about fully veiled women, according to one of the party's Muslim MEPs.

But the MP Nadine Dorries, retorted: "The people in Westminster who are so outraged are actually terrified that at some stage any day soon Boris may make a challenge for the leadership and Number 10".

"I spoke last night to my very experienced officers who deal with hate crime and, although we have not yet received any allegation of such a crime, I can tell you that my preliminary view having spoken to them is that what Mr Johnson said would not reach the bar for a criminal offence".

"These were offensive comments but clever politics", she said.

Penning an article for the establishment centre-right Telegraph newspaper under a pseudonym, for fear of "how my friends and relatives would react", "Suad Farah" described how she lost her niqab-wearing best friend "to mosque classes and to sister circles and to fundamentalist YouTube videos" after the death of her father. She felt that she had been sexually assaulted.

"It is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes", he wrote.

"If a woman wants to wear a short dress, it is her right and freedom to do so".

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