Former British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, will face an investigation following Islamophobic comments about Muslim women who wear the face veil, according to a report by the Evening Standard newspaper.
Johnson compared women wearing the veil with bank robbers or letter boxes in an article for the right-leaning Daily Telegraph.
The Conservative MP will face an investigatory panel for a possible breach of his party’s code of conduct, the first step in disciplinary action that has been called for by a number of Conservative MPs and independent organisations.
The comments prompted severe criticism from within his own party, including Prime Minister Theresa May, and led to questions about whether he was pandering to the far right by stoking Islamophobia.
Johnson left May’s cabinet in July in a dispute over her plan for leaving the European Union, which he says he finds too soft. He is considered a frontrunner to replace May should she resign, and has support among Conservative supporters to the right of the prime minister.
Johnson is reported to have recently secretly met US far-right ideologue Steve Bannon, a former adviser to US President Donald Trump.
Bannon has come out in support of the MP, saying in July that “now is the moment” for Johnson to challenge May. — AFP