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PMQs: Applause as MP demands apology for Boris Johnson burka remarks

PMQs: Applause as MP demands apology for Boris Johnson burka remarks”

A Sikh Labour MP was applauded in the Commons after he demanded that Boris Johnson apologise for comparing Muslim women to letterboxes and launch an inquiry into Islamophobia.

Johnson triggered a fierce backlash last August when he used his column in The Daily Telegraph when he said women wearing a face veil looked like "letter boxes".

"If I decide to wear a turban, or if someone decides to wear a cross or a hijab, it doesn't mean that it is an open season for people in this House to make derogatory and divisive remarks", he said, referring to the PM's remark.

Labour MPs spontaneously clapped Mr Dhesi's speech and also shouted "shame" at Mr Johnson.

In his speech, Dhesi was referring to Johnson's column in The Daily Telegraph past year, in which he had written: "If you tell me that the burka [burqa] is oppressive, then I am with you..."

The prime minister responded by claiming "the article in question ... was a strong liberal defense" for allowing adherents of any faith to wear the religious coverings they wish to.

During a fraught Parliamentary session Johnson was asked if he would now apologise for those comments, that as was recently reported, caused an increase in Islamophobic hate crime on the streets of Britain by 375%.

"And I speak as somebody who is not only proud to have Muslim ancestors ... but to be related to Sikhs such as himself".

Refusing to apologise for his remarks, Mr Johnson said: "Under this Government we have the most diverse Cabinet in the history of this country".

The Prime Minister was caught on camera apparently using the insult against the Mr Corbyn, saying: "Call an election, you great big girl's blouse".

In another attack on Labour, the prime minister recalled that shadow education secretary Angela Rayner had called the party's "high-risk" economic strategy as "shit-or-bust".



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