BURY’S Muslim community and all of us who support religious freedom will be appalled by Boris Johnson’s latest careless and offensive remarks in which he compared Muslim women who choose to wear the niqab to bank robbers and letterboxes.

The initial lack of any action against Johnson and the failure of senior Tory politicians to condemn him until pressured to do so following the justified public outcry raises serious questions about the party’s commitment to tackling Islamophobia in its ranks.

The announcement of an investigation is not before time, but welcome.

There is no room in our politics for racism, religious intolerance or misogyny of any kind.

This is why I have repeatedly ­— both publicly and privately ­— made absolutely clear my position on antisemitism in the Labour Party.

As the husband of a Jewish woman, raising our children in both Christian and Jewish traditions, I find it abhorrent and continue to urge my party to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism in full ­— and will be voting to do so when Parliament returns after recess.

I would hope to see similar condemnation and commitment from the Conservatives to address the stain of Islamophobia in their party.

As Jo Cox taught us, so we say; we have more in common.

James Frith

MP for Bury North