On 5 August 2018, an offensive and Islamophobic article by Boris Johnson was published in the Daily Telegraph. In it, Johnson ridiculed Muslim women, comparing their appearance to 'bank robbers' and saying they looked 'like letterboxes'.Since then, leaders from across the political and religious spectrum have appealed to Johnson to apologise, including the Chairman of the Conservative Party, Brandon Lewis.
Johnson has refused.Democracy requires vigourous discussion and debate - an exchange of ideas requiring constant renewal. But Boris abused his privileged position to make that debate offensive and personal. Despite clear evidence of how offensive and how damaging his comments were at a time of increased Islamophobia in the UK and within the Conservative Party, Johnson has ignored how abusive they were.Johnson should retract his remarks and apologise. If he continues to refuse to do so, Theresa May should remove the Conservative Party whip from him and take steps to suspend him from serving as a Member of Parliament.