Boris Johnson is facing a probe for a potential breach of the Conservative Party's code of conduct, after describing women in Islamic dress as "letter boxes" and comparing them to "bank robbers", the Evening Standard reports.
In the column, Johnson said that Denmark's burqa ban was wrong despite the garment being oppressive to women. She said she welcomed an investigation, "but let's not pretend this is an isolated incident".
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.
"We must not fall into the trap of shutting down the debate on hard issues", a source close to Johnson told reporters.
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Disciplinary action could lead to Mr Johnson being suspended or even expelled from the Tories, but would risk igniting civil war in a party many of whose members see him as the best option to succeed Mrs May as leader.
Absent from the 2016 leadership contest when key allies withdrew their support on the eve of his campaign launch, Mr Johnson failed to bring any statesmanship to the Foreign Office. The person in the niqab "is similar to a Bank robber" or "Inbox".
On Tuesday, Primne Minister Theresa May joined the growing chorus of lawmakers publicly rebuking Johnson over his choice of language.
A number of complaints had been received and would be considered by an independent panel, the source added.
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On Thursday, the article was still front-page news in some British publications, with the left-leaning Daily Mirror suggesting the government was at war as "15 top Tories" condemned Johnson's "burka insult as one says it risks 'a race war'".
Johnson refused to apologize for his remarks, calling the outrage at his remarks "ridiculous" as well as an attack on free speech.
Meanwhile, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police said Mr Johnson's comments do not constitute a crime.
As chairman of a party that seeks to represent the whole country, which protects individual liberty as a cherished British value, your call - we believe - is insufficient.
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Right-wing commentator Tim Montgomerie was among those to tweet his support for Johnson, saying: "I hope Boris doesn't apologise".