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Dominic Grieve: I'll quit the Conservative party if Boris Johnson becomes leader

Dominic Grieve: I'll quit the Conservative party if Boris Johnson becomes leader

But the MP Nadine Dorries, retorted: "The people in Westminster who are so outraged are actually terrified that at some stage any day soon Boris may make a challenge for the leadership and Number 10". "If you tell me that the burka is oppressive, then I am with you", he wrote. If a woman wants to wear a burqa it is her right to do so.

Prime Minister Theresa May joined in the chorus of calls for Johnson to apologize.

Party chairman Brandon Lewis ordered the former foreign secretary to apologise but two days later and Mr Johnson is still maintaining his silence on a holiday break. May said she agreed with Lewis.

Eurosceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg said there was no need for Mr Johnson to apologise and said Mrs May was "clearly wrong" to ask a backbencher to apologise.

"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.

Conservative peer Sayeeda Warsi, a former party chairwoman, accused Johnson of adopting the "dog-whistle" tactics of right-wing firebrand Steve Bannon, US President Donald Trump's former top aide.

But the survey for the Sky News found people are split as to whether the former foreign secretary should apologise for his remarks - 45 per cent think he should do so, 48 per cent think he should not.

But other Tories have come to Johnson's defence.

The burka is a full face covering that is associated with a conservative interpretation of Islam.

Johnson, who quit the government last month in a dispute over Brexit, made the remarks in a Daily Telegraph article published Monday.

He also said schools and universities are entitled to take the same approach if a pupil comes in "looking like a bank robber".

He added that he could not find scriptural authority for the dress code in the Koran.

In his controversial column, Johnson said he opposed a ban on face-covering veils, but added it was "absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter-boxes".

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