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Boris Johnson's Facebook page hosts hundreds of Islamophobic comments after burqa row

One comment reads, 'come on Boris, you had the bottle to start getting rid of these bloody Muslims, just like Enoch [Powell] wanted to rid us of all yer bloody c**ns'

Joe Watts
Political Editor
Sunday 19 August 2018 10:05 BST
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Nigel Farage 'I suspect these burka comments make Boris Johnson more likely to be Prime Minister, not less'

Boris Johnson’s official Facebook page is host to hundreds of Islamophobic messages, a newspaper investigation has found.

The Sunday Times said an examination of his web page uncovered calls to ban Islam, deport Muslims and “vile” attacks on London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

It comes after the former foreign secretary mocked women wearing the niqab and burqa as looking like “letterboxes” and “bank robbers”, with one Facebook follower praising him for having the “bottle to start getting rid of these bloody Muslims”.

A source close to the former foreign secretary said he “totally condemns the hateful views posted by a small minority” on his Facebook followers.

All of the comments appear under posts promoting Mr Johnson’s articles and speeches.

One reads: “Come on Boris, you had the bottle to start getting rid of these bloody Muslims, just like Enoch [Powell] wanted to rid us of all yer bloody c**ns.”

Another called for a policy which would see “no Muslims in government, police or army”.

Boris Johnson gives journalists tea while avoiding burka questions

It said: “That’s crazy to trust them. They are just waiting for the Jihad sign to turn on us. #islamophobicandproud.”

As well as the comments on Mr Johnson’s official Facebook page, The Sunday Times reports that it found thousands of offensive comments on 10 Facebook groups run by supporters of Mr Johnson and other Brexiteers.

A source close to the senior Conservative MP said: “Mr Johnson totally condemns the hateful views posted by a small minority on these Facebook pages, brought to light by The Sunday Times.

“However, it is ridiculous to attack Mr Johnson for comments made by individuals on social media when even the official website and Facebook page of The Times and Sunday Times host racist and Islamophobic messages from page visitors.”

Allies of the former foreign secretary indicated that, to date, his team had not “censored” comments on his Facebook page, including those attacking him, as he believed in free speech and that people should be able to contact their elected representatives easily.

They pointed out that Facebook was responsible for moderating its own pages, with a staff of 15,000 to investigate and remove offensive postings.

Mr Johnson is currently facing an internal Conservative Party investigation for an article he wrote for The Daily Telegraph.

He has yet to comment publicly on the furore over his comments on Muslim head-coverings, but his supporters have made clear he did not accept his words were Islamophobic and he would not be apologising.

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