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Tory Muslim peer who called for Boris Johnson to be kicked out of party receives barrage of 'vile Islamophobic emails'

The Independent logo The Independent 10/08/2018 Ashley Cowburn

Boris Johnson wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Conservative Muslim forum founder, Lord Sheikh, has said he has received dozens of “vile” Islamophobic emails after calling for Boris Johnson to be removed from the Conservative party after his remarks about niqabs.

The Tory peer said the ex-foreign secretary had also “let the genie out of the bottle” after he suggested women veiled Muslim women resembled “letter boxes” and “bank robbers”.

He told BBC Newsnight he had received dozens of “vile“ emails, with “obscene language” since calling for the Conservatives to withdraw the whip from Mr Johnson.

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Mr Bean star Atkinson wades into Burka row (PA)

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100 Muslim women demand Tories kick out Johnson (Sky News)

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His remarks came after the Conservative Party’s decision to consider disciplinary proceedings against Mr Johnson – a move that has led to criticism of Theresa May from Brexiteer MPs who claim the complaints are politically driven.

Video: Boris should be kicked out of Tory party, says Ken Livingstone (LBC)

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One backbencher told The Independent the handling of the affair by the prime minister had been so poor that it has increased the chances of a leadership challenge later this year.

The internal process was automatically triggered on Thursday after party HQ received several complaints about Mr Johnson’s remarks and a party spokesperson said the process “is strictly confidential”.

Despite criticism from across the political spectrum for the remarks Mr Johnson won the unexpected support from the comedian Rowan Atkinson – the star of Blackadder and Mr Bean.

Video: Boris 'did not commit a criminal offence' (Mirror)

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“You should really only apologise for a bad joke. On that basis, no apology is required,” Mr Atkinson wrote in a letter to The Times.

The former Tory chief whip, Andrew Mitchell, also told BBC Newsnight that there was no need for the ex-foreign secretary to apologise for his remarks in a column for the Daily Telegraph on Monday.

But I think what's important is that the procedures of the party now take place,” he said. “This is quite an important issue about free speech and it's got nothing to do with the dreadful events that take place over Enoch Powell and the Rivers of Blood speech.

”Boris was speaking out against a ban of the type that's taken place in Denmark and some other countries.”

Mr Johnson, who is currently on vacation, has not made any personal response to the demands for him to apologise but sources close to him made clear earlier this week that he stands by the article.

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