Bannon: Burka-bashing Boris Johnson has 'nothing to apologize for'

Blanche Robertson
August 12, 2018

A panel will look into the complaints against Mr Johnson's comments.

Support for Mr Johnson was markedly higher among older generations, with 77 per cent of over-65s and 63 per cent of 55-64 year-olds saying he should not face discipline, while 62 per cent of 18-24 year-olds and 55 per cent of those in the 25-34 age-group saying he should.

When, six days ago, an article by Boris Johnson appeared suggesting that burqa-wearing Muslim women "choose to go around looking like letter boxes" and turn up "looking like a bank robber", there was only one sensible thing for Theresa May and her allies to do.

Johnson resigned from the cabinet last month in protest at May's Brexit plan, setting himself up as a talisman for the many Conservatives who want a more radical departure from the European Union.

Mr Rees-Mogg said: 'When Margaret Thatcher was leader, she and Michael Heseltine were hardly soulmates, but she would not have allowed personal rivalry to take the heat off the Labour Party, whose own deep internal divisions are buried in other news now, nor would she have countenanced any attempt to have a show trial'.

The arch-Eurosceptic suggested the probe is being driven by Theresa May's "personal rivalry" with Mr Johnson and is an attempt to stop him from becoming leader.

An independent panel will look at the complaints made about Johnson and could refer him to the Conservative's board who has the power to expel him.

The Telegraph newspaper said it had been "inundated" with letters in support of Mr Johnson and gave over its whole letters page to publish them.

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I guess he's taking all this in his stride.

Despite the uproar, Bannon on Sunday boosted Johnson's case as a potential prime minister.

Mr Johnson's comments on the burka have been branded "inflammatory and divisive" by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, but the watchdog made clear it was not launching its own investigation.

Meanwhile, there were signs of concern among Tory donors over Mrs May's handling of the issue. I have talked to several colleagues and they have the same view as I do.

And City financier Jeremy Hosking, who has given £375,000 since 2015, told the paper: "The cynical and opportunistic response of some leading Conservatives in condemning him seems so transparent in its motivation as to be laughable".

But a Conservative member of the upper house of parliament and former government polling adviser, Andrew Cooper, accused Johnson of "moral emptiness" and populism over the remarks.

"He will advocate literally anything to play to the crowd of the moment".

But Mr Bridgen told the Sunday Express: "If Boris is suspended it will be open warfare in the Conservative Party".

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