Boris Johnson has defended his controversial claim that Muslim women wearing the burka “look like letter boxes”.
The former foreign secretary faced criticism from Tory MPs and peers over the remarks and was accused of Islamophobia.
However in an interview with Sky News Mr Johnson said the backlash was nothing more than “confected indignation” at his “strong views” on Brexit.
Mr Johnson, in his Telegraph column last month, said full-face veils should not be banned, but it was “absolutely ridiculous” women chose to “go around looking like letter boxes”. He also compared them to looking like “bank robbers”.
Speaking to Sky News he said: “I stand by what I wrote. I urge my friends and colleagues to look carefully at what I wrote.
“I think you’ll find invariably that there is an element of confected indignation about things that I’ve said that are wrenched out of context and in this particular context.
“I think possibly just to throw this thought out there Beth, what is going on is that people do feel a slight sense of uneasiness about the direction, more than a slight sense of uneasiness, real alarm about the direction of the Brexit negotiations, and they are conscious that I have a strong view about that and I think they are perhaps reacting to that as much as to anything else.”