Mr Bean actor Rowan Atkinson has defended Boris Johnson’s controversial comment comparing women who wear the burka to “letter boxes”, calling it a “pretty good” joke.
The comedian – who found fame with the classic British sitcom Blackadder –wrote to The Times newspaper to urge the former foreign secretary not to apologise, calling himself “a lifelong beneficiary of the freedom to make jokes about religion”.
“All jokes about religion cause offence, so it’s pointless apologising for them,” Atkinson wrote. “You should really only apologise for a bad joke. On that basis, no apology is required.”
Atkinson’s support follow a six-day long storm over Johnson’s most recent Telegraph column, in which he also said women who wear the burka look like “bank robbers”.
The Uxbridge MP is now facing an investigation by an independent panel following complaints that his comments break the Conservative Party’s code of conduct.
Johnson – who is believed to be holidaying in Italy – has yet to comment on the furore.