Ex-Cameron aide and Muslim leaders join condemnation over the former foreign secretary’s burqa comments

A Tory peer and former aide to David Cameron accused Boris Johnson of “moral emptiness”, casual racism and “courting fascism” as division over the former foreign secretary’s comments about Muslim women threatened to develop into a full-blown crisis for Theresa May and her party.

The comments by Lord Cooper, a former pollster who worked for Cameron at No 10, came after Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the party’s anti-EU right wing, criticised the prime minister for backing an investigation into Johnson’s remarks, in which he compared women wearing burqas to “letterboxes” and “bank robbers”. Rees-Mogg said May had countenanced a “show trial” of Johnson because of her “personal rivalry” with him.

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