Boris Johnson faces calls to apologise for Muslim 'letterbox' comments

During PMQs, Labour MP for Slough Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi - the first turban-wearing Sikh in the Commons - called on Mr Johnson to apologise for his "derogatory" comments immediately.

The entire Labour bench erupted into applause - unusual during PMQs - and there were calls of "come on, son" from Mr Dhesi's colleagues.

"Rather than hide behind sham and whitewash investigations, when will the prime minister finally apologise for his derogatory and racist remarks?" "When will the Prime Minister finally order an inquiry into Islamophobia within the Conservative Party, something which he and his Chancellor promised on national television?"

"Well, look, I might have Polish heritage, I might have Scottish relatives, but it doesn't mean I'm then immune to say whatever I want without any consequences". If you say that it is weird and bullying to expect women to cover their faces, then I totally agree - and I would add that I can find no scriptural authority for the practice in the Koran.

The new British leader wrote a column a year ago in which he said it was ridiculous that women should resemble bank robbers or letter boxes.

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United Kingdom members of Parliament broke into applause on Wednesday after a powerful question to Boris Johnson in which the prime minister was accused of making "racist and derogatory" remarks.

This week, anti-racism group Tell MAMA said there had been a 375 percent increase in anti-Muslim incidents from the week before Mr Johnson made the comments in August 2018 to the week after. Johnson's estranged wife Marina is of Sikh origin.

Johnson said in his response: "I speak as somebody who is proud not only to have Muslim ancestors, but to be related to Sikhs like him".

He said: "I'm proud to say that under this Government we have the most diverse cabinet in the history of this country and we truly reflect modern Britain and Mr Speaker, what we have yet to hear from any of the Labour Party is any hint of apology for the virus of anti-Semitism which is now rampant in their ranks".

The British prime minister called on the Labour Party to address its own problems with anti-semitism, a reference to numerous allegations of anti-Jewish incidents with the Opposition party.

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