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British Prime Minister Theresa May says "nobody should be trying to tell a woman how to dress" after her former foreign minister, Boris Johnson, said the Islamic veil made women look like letter boxes and bank robbers. 'It was the wrong language to use.

Boris Johnson faces an investigation by the Conservative Party over his comment about the burka, following formal complaints that he breached the party's code of conduct.

Party chairman Brandon Lewis will nominate two members of the panel, and because the complaint is about a member of Parliament, a third will be nominated by Graham Brady, the chairman of the party's backbench 1922 committee.

"What Mr Johnson said, if it is not criminal, is a matter for Mr Johnson and his friends and colleagues and indeed for the Conservative Party".

Several European countries, including France, Belgium and Denmark, have banned face-covering veils in public, but none of Britain's main political parties supports such a restriction.

"Islamophobia does play a big role in Muslim women's lives", she said in a telephone interview from the Midlands.

So will he say sorry?

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The Tories have been accused of being majorly out of touch with the British people.

Johnson refused to apologize for his remarks, calling the outrage at his remarks "ridiculous" as well as an attack on free speech.

"And although we have not yet received any allegation of such a crime, I can tell you that my preliminary view from having spoken to them is that what Mr Johnson said would not reach the bar for a criminal offence".

Right-wing commentator Tim Montgomerie was among those to tweet his support for Johnson, saying: "I hope Boris doesn't apologise".

The assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, Miqdaad Versi, said Mr Johnson was "pandering to the far-right", while Labour MP David Lammy branded him a "pound-shop Donald Trump". "If we fail to speak up for liberal values then we are simply yielding ground to reactionaries and extremists".

She said that her group, which works with marginalised women, had already taken three calls in the last two days from hijab-wearing women who reported being called "letter boxes".


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