'Almost flawless visual simile': Rowan Atkinson defends Boris Johnson in burqa row

'Mr Bean' Actor Rowan Atkinson Backs Boris Johnson's Burqa Comments

He said he opposed ban- ning burqas and other face-cov- ering garments worn by some Muslim women, but referred to a woman wearing the attire as "looking like a bank robber".

A Tory former chief whip has backed Boris Johnson in the burka row, saying he had no need to apologise for making inflammatory comments about Muslim women.

Uxbridge MP Johnson made the comments in a Telegraph column and, according to the Metro, he will now face an investigation by an independent panel after complaints that his comments breached the Conservative Party's code of conduct.

But sources close to the former foreign secretary made clear earlier this week he stands by Monday's article, in which he argued against a burka ban, but said the face-covering veil was "oppressive" and "ridiculous".

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

In a letter to The Times, he wrote: "You should really only apologise for a bad joke".

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

He is considered a frontrunner to replace May should she resign, and has support among Conservative supporters to the right of the prime minister.

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"We are not bound by collective responsibility or that type of discipline and it is the wrong approach to party discipline".

A woman protests after Boris Johnson's burqa comment.

"I hope it's dismissed immediately as frivolous and vexatious; if it does go to a full disciplinary panel I think there's a huge question given that Theresa May, the Prime Minister, and Brandon Lewis, the party chairman, have basically already said that Boris shouldn't have said it and should apologise, that they're already pre-determined".

He added: "But let's look at what Boris said: he expressed himself in quite colourful language".

"This is quite an important issue about free speech and it's got nothing to do with the terrible events that take place over Enoch Powell and the Rivers of Blood speech".

"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. "But he hasn't committed any offence".

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, he added: "Just because we find something distasteful doesn't mean it's either illegal or it shouldn't happen".

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