'Pressure is mounting on Boris Johnson to apologise over his “gratuitously offensive” remarks about women wearing niqabs as a series of senior Conservative MPs rallied against the former foreign secretary.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson questioned whether Mr Johnson would ever write about having a debate on banning Christians from wearing crucifixes, after the Uxbridge MP suggested in his Daily Telegraph column that those who wore headscarves resembled “bank robbers” and “letter boxes”.
Former attorney general Dominic Grieve even suggested he would leave the Tories if Mr Johnson was elected leader, claiming: “I don’t regard him as a fit and proper person to lead a political party”.
In one of the most critical comments of Mr Johnson’s column, Ms Davidson suggested the incendiary remarks were calculated. “I think that this wasn’t an off-the-cuff slip, he wrote a column, he knew exactly what he was doing and I think it crossed from being provocative and starting a debate and actually it became rude and gratuitous,” she said.
While the Scottish Tory leader, who is seen as a rising star in the party, said she agreed with the sentiment of the article – that face-covering veils should not be banned – Ms Davidson added: “I think it’s also not been shown through history that when men make sweeping statements about what women should or shouldn’t wear that it goes well for them,” she said.'
Read more: Boris Johnson faces growing backlash over 'gratuitously offensive' niqab remarks as top Tories rally against him
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