Former British foreign secretary Boris Johnson will face an internal investigation over complaints that he violated the ruling Conservative Party's code of conduct when he wrote in a newspaper column last week that women in burqas resemble "bank robbers" and "letter boxes".
Boris Johnson is facing an investigation into whether he broke Conservative Party rules over his comments about Muslim women. The ban was upheld in 2017 by the European Court of Human Rights following a challenge by two Muslim women.
Johnson is seen by some as a potential Conservative leader if May is forced to step down amid divisions within the party over the terms on which the United Kingdom should leave the European Union.
A spokesman said only: "The code of conduct process is strictly confidential".
A former journalist who has often been accused of courting media attention, Johnson was not available for comment. "And some of the terms Boris used describing people's appearance obviously have offended", the prime minister said.
"In his recent comments Boris Johnson further fuels Islamophobic sentiments by comparing women who wear burkas to letterboxes and bank robbers".
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Her mother responded to her daughter's remarks by adding, "I can't even understand what she's saying coz her face is covered".
"It's ridiculous these views are being attacked - we mustn't fall into the trap of shutting down the debate on hard issues", the source said.
"These were offensive comments but clever politics", she said.
Mr Johnson will be given the opportunity to make a statement providing "any evidence or details that will help to establish their position".
Supporters say women should be free to dress as they choose and that such divisive debate only increases pressure on them to cover up.
The BBC News interview, broadcast on a television in the waiting area, featured a Muslim woman in a niqab.