Boris Johnson compares women wearing the burqa to 'bank robbers' and 'letterboxes'

Women wearing the burqa resemble "letterboxes" and "look like a bank robber", Boris Johnson suggested today.
The MP - who until weeks ago was Britain's top diplomat - was branded a "pound-shop Donald Trump fanning the flames of Islamophobia" after his comparison in a pitch to the Tory faithful.
Branding the religious symbol "oppressive", he claimed: "It is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes."
Any female student who turned up to school "looking like a bank robber" should be asked to remove their face covering, he then added.
He stopped short of demanding a ban on face coverings in public.
Theresa May faced anger today as she refused to condemn the Tory MP - despite him being reported to the equalities watchdog.
A Muslim Council of Britain spokesperson said: "We need responsibility and action from our politicians, not pandering to the far-right."
Mr Johnson's comments will be seen as a pitch to the Tory grassroots amid fevered speculation about a future leadership contest.
But the comparison used by the gaffe-prone MP, who previously called black people "piccaninnies", Barack Obama "part-Kenyan" and talked about whisky exports in a Sikh temple, prompted criticism.
It comes days after reports emerged that Mr Johnson was in regular contact with Steve Bannon, the hard-right former Donald Trump advisor who is now trying to push his brand of politics in Europe.
Labour MP Jess Phillips said she was reporting Mr Johnson to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, tweeting: "WTF".
Labour MP David Lammy added: "Labour Muslim women are having their burkas pulled off by thugs in our streets & Boris Johnson's response is to mock them for 'looking like letter boxes'.
"Our pound-shop Donald Trump is fanning the flames of Islamophobia to propel his grubby electoral ambitions."
Labour MP Stella Creasy said: "Dear Tory leadership voters - one of the potential candidates thinks you want Bannon not Boris on the ballot paper.
"Make sure you tell him being a Buffoon not being a racist and misogynist more British and more your bag before he goes full Morrissey."
Mr Johnson wrote in the Daily Telegraph that he is with those who describe the veil as "oppressive" and "weird and bullying", adding it has "no scriptural authority".
He added he "thoroughly dislikes" attempts by male govenment figures to encourage the veil, including President Ramzan Kadyrov of Chechnya - "who has told the men of his country to splat their women with paintballs if they fail to cover their heads."
He continued: "If a constituent came to my MP's surgery with her face obscured, I should feel fully entitled - like Jack Straw - to ask her to remove it so that I could talk to her properly.
"If a female student turned up at school or at a university lecture looking like a bank robber then ditto.
"Those in authority should be allowed to converse openly with those that they are being asked to instruct."
Mr Johnson went on to say he does not back a full ban on face veils in public.
Denmark last week followed France, Germany, Austria and Belgium in banning the burka in public places.
A fine of around £120 has already been imposed on a woman wearing one in a shopping centre in the town of Horsholm, after another woman reportedly tried to tear it off.
He said such a ban would be interpreted as being anti-Muslim and "fan the flames of grievance".
The MP resumed his Telegraph column just weeks after quitting as Foreign Secretary - breaking a three-month limit on ex-ministers taking second jobs.
It is not yet known what he is paid, but the job previously paid £267,000 a year or more than £5,000 per column - a sum he described as "chicken feed".
Theresa May's official spokesman refused to condemn Mr Johnson's comments or say whether she thought they were appropriate.
But he said: "The long standing government position on this is clear.
“We do not support a ban on the wearing of the veil in public.
"Such a prescriptive approach would be out of keeping with British values of religious tolerance and gender equality.”
Naz Shah, Labour's Shadow Equalities Minister, said: "Boris Johnson's latest racist insults can not be laughed off, like they often are.
"Saying Muslim women look like letterboxes, comparing them to bank robbers and describing Islam as a 'problem' was a calculated attack and published in a national newspaper.
"Theresa May must condemn this blatant Islamophobia and Boris Johnson must apologise."
Boris Johnson compares women wearing the burqa to 'bank robbers' and 'letterboxes' Boris Johnson compares women wearing the burqa to 'bank robbers' and 'letterboxes' Reviewed by Your Destination on August 06, 2018 Rating: 5

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