Britain’s Johnson offers qualified apology for Islam remarks

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued a qualified apology for offence caused by his past remarks about Islam in a report that criticized his Conservative Party over how it deals with complaints of Islamophobia.
Johnson was interviewed for the report, commissioned by the Conservatives in response to criticism of how it handled discrimination and complaints. The report was conducted independently by Professor Swaran Singh who has served as a commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
It cited several examples relating to Johnson, including a 2018 newspaper column in which he referred to women wearing burqas as “going around looking like letterboxes” and likened their appearance to bank robbers.
Johnson said the article was a liberal defense of a Muslim woman’s right to choose what she wore.
“I do know that offence has been taken at things I’ve said, that people expect a person in my position to get things right, but in journalism you need to use language freely. I am obviously sorry for any offence taken,” the report quoted Johnson as saying.
“The Conservative Party will continue to take a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination of any kind and take immediate action to improve our handling of complaints,” Conservative co-chairman Amanda Milling said in a statement.

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