Rowan Atkinson defends Boris Johnson's burqa comments

Lewis Collier
August 10, 2018

Former Conservative party leader Iain Duncan Smith has said that the party's internal disciplinary system should not be used "to shut down" Boris Johnson after his controversial comments about fully veiled Muslim women.

"But I think what's important is that the procedures of the party now take place".

Some things are as certain as night following day or Jeff Stelling getting over-excited about a fairly innocuous footballing incident - and sure enough, Boris Johnson sparked outrage this week.

He wrote: 'If you tell me that the burka is oppressive, then I am with you.

Mr Johnson is facing investigation by an independent panel following complaints that his comments on the burka breached the Conservative Party's code of conduct. He said he opposed banning burqas and other face-covering garments worn by some Muslim women, but referred to a woman wearing the attire as "looking like a bank robber".

Critics from inside and outside the Conservative party, including Prime Minister Theresa May, have called on Johnson to apologise.

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That provoked a backlash from the party's right, with many MPs repeating similar arguments.

Boris Johnson's burqa comments have split the British population down the middle, with condemnation and support being handed out in equal measure. "I fear an eruption of anger amongst our party's core voters and grassroots activities if this obsessive political correctness doesn't stop". "That process is now engaged, it's under way and I'm not going to say anything more about that issue".

Arguing in favour of free speech, Mr Mitchell suggested we may as well shut down every single national newspaper if we wanted to stop people from being offended.

Atkinson, best known for his portrayal of the bumbling "Mr Bean" and the cunning 'Blackadder, ' weighed in on the debate by writing a letter to the Times saying: "All jokes about religion cause offence, so it's pointless apologizing for them".

In a letter to The Times, he wrote: "You should really only apologise for a bad joke. On that basis, no apology is required", he added.

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