Actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson defends Johnson in burqa row

Esequiel Farfan
Agosto 10, 2018

"You may not agree with the tone or the jokes, but we have a thing called freedom of speech in this country", Duncan Smith told the BBC's Today programme.

The Blackadder and Mr Bean star Atkinson said the former Foreign Secretary's comments were amusing.

Atkinson wrote in a letter to The Times: "As a lifelong beneficiary of the freedom to make jokes about religion, I do think that Boris Johnson's joke about wearers of the burka resembling letterboxes is a pretty good one". "On that basis, no apology is required".

While ex whip Andrew Mitchell dismissed comparisons made between Mr Johnson's comments and Enoch Powell's notorious "rivers of blood" speech.

Mr Bean and Blackadder star Rowan Atkinson, 63, has defended the ex-Foreign Secretary as he faces an investigation for his controversial comments.

"I would go further and say that it is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes; and I thoroughly dislike any attempt by any - invariably male - government to encourage such demonstrations of "modesty".

Commenting on Lord Sheikh's remarks, Mr Mitchell said: "I am horrified to hear about the communications that Lord Sheikh has had".

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It's not the first time Atkinson has got involved in controversy around free speech. "I fear an eruption of anger amongst our party's core voters and grassroots activities if this obsessive political correctness doesn't stop".

Duncan Smith is the latest of a string of right-wing Conservatives who have come out in defence of Johnson since it emerged that complaints about his comments had been referred to an investigator.

But Muslim organisations said there had been "a real impact" from Johnson's remarks. "Extraordinary to think he was foreign secretary only a few weeks ago".

Theresa May wil decide what punishment to mete out to her former minister.

With a Tory party inquiry into Johnson's conduct announced on Thursday, the matter looks set to rumble on.

Johnson also won support from an unlikely source when comedian Rowan Atkinson waded into the furore.

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