Boris Johnson faces disciplinary action over burqa jibe

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Former British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson will be investigated for a possible breach of the Conservative Party's code of conduct after making comments about Muslim women who wear burqas, a party source said on Thursday.

The Independent understands that following the complaints, party chiefs must now decide whether the allegation is serious enough to establish an investigatory panel to ascertain whether Mr Johnson has broken the party's code of conduct.

The comments prompted severe criticism from within his own party, including Prime Minister Theresa May, and led to questions about whether he was pandering to the far right by stoking Islamophobia.

He was asked to apologise by the party chairman, Brandon Lewis, but refused to do so, and the party then began a disciplinary process having received dozens of complaints. "Extraordinary to think he was foreign secretary only a few weeks ago". 'Completely entitled to say it'Jacob Rees-Mogg, Tory MP for North East Somerset " He's completely entitled to say it and there's nothing to apologise for", Mr Rees-Mogg told Nigel Farage on LBC.

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He wrote: 'As a lifelong beneficiary of the freedom to make jokes about religion, I do think that Boris Johnson's joke about wearers of the burka resembling letterboxes is a pretty good one'.

'All jokes about religion cause offence, so it's pointless apologising for them.

"You should really only apologise for a bad joke.

I fear an eruption of anger amongst our party's core voters and grassroots activities if this obsessive political correctness doesn't stop".

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"The burka and niqab are ugly tribal ninja-like garments that are pre-Islamic, non-Koranic and therefore un-Muslim".

'Full bandwagon jumping territory'Conor Burns, Tory MP for Bournemouth West'It's bash Boris'Andrew Bridgen, Tory MP for North West Leicestershire " This [inquiry is] being use to try and discredit Boris Johnson from people who are anxious about him in inside the Conservative party and outside the Conservative party.

"You may not agree with the tone or the jokes, but we have a thing called freedom of speech in this country", Duncan Smith told the BBC's Today programme. "Nevertheless we do so because we believe it is a means to get closer to God", it added.

Johnson wrote in The Daily Telegraph this week that Denmark was wrong to ban the burqa, a head-to-toe cloak which conceals the face with a mesh or is worn in conjunction with the niqab - a face veil that leaves only the eyes exposed.

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