LONDON (Reuters) – Former British overseas minister Boris Johnson returned from his summer time holiday to face each criticism and help over his remarks about burqas, amid deepening divisions in Britain’s ruling Conservative Party on Sunday.
FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson walks to Downing Street in London, June 26, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo
Johnson, seen as the most important menace to Prime Minister Theresa May’s struggling management, has turn out to be a lightning rod for discontent throughout the social gathering after a newspaper column through which he mentioned Muslim girls who put on burqas appear to be letter packing containers or financial institution robbers.
The feedback got here in a chunk arguing in opposition to a ban on the Islamic full-face veil, however have been criticised as Islamophobic. Others noticed the remarks as vibrant rhetoric that strikes a chord with many Britons.
May has scolded Johnson, stirring anger amongst these of his supporters who see him as the focus for resistance to her proposed “business-friendly” Brexit plan. The social gathering has additionally launched an investigation into his remarks.
Under the headline “Boris sparks cabinet war” the Sunday Times mentioned 4 unnamed senior ministers have been dismayed at May’s dealing with of the state of affairs.
“They have managed to engineer a total disaster,” one minister was quoted as saying. “Trying to silence Boris is stupid, especially when the majority of people agree with him.”
Johnson resigned from the cupboard final month in protest at May’s Brexit plan, setting himself up as a talisman for the various Conservatives who need a extra radical departure from the European Union.
Meanwhile, May has struggled to carry her cupboard collectively on Brexit and faces a testing few months through which she hopes to safe a deal on leaving the EU, face the social gathering’s sad grassroots, and win a vital vote in parliament.
Johnson’s burqa remarks have been defended by, amongst others, Donald Trump’s former political strategist Steve Bannon, who informed the Sunday Times that his general message had been lost due to a “throwaway line”.
Bannon has beforehand known as on Johnson to problem May’s management.
But a Conservative member of the higher home of parliament and former government polling adviser, Andrew Cooper, accused Johnson of “moral emptiness” and populism over the remarks.
“The rottenness of Boris Johnson goes deeper even than his casual racism & his equally casual courting of fascism. He will advocate literally anything to play to the crowd of the moment,” Cooper mentioned on Twitter.
Johnson, who has made clear that he doesn’t intend to apologise, returned to Britain on Saturday. He declined to reply reporters’ questions.
His is predicted to interrupt his silence in his common column, resulting from be printed by the Telegraph newspaper late on Sunday.
Reporting by William James; Editing by Giles Elgood