— Brandon Lewis (@BrandonLewis) August 7, 2018
Just when the Boris / burka story was dying down, Brandon Lewis appears to have deliberately fanned the flames by sending this tweet, creating another round of headlines against the Tories. It is hard to see Lewis’ tweet as anything other than virtue signalling as he continues to court Remainers to further his own ambitions. Given Lewis is lucky to still be in post following pair-gate, Tory colleagues might expect a little more loyalty from their chairman.
Once again it falls to Guido to point out that the Boris row is largely confected outrage from his enemies. Boris’ article explicitly called for the burka not to be banned, yet Corbynistas and Remainers are deliberately ignoring this and smearing him as some far right puppet of Steve Bannon. Other than Lewis, the only Tories to have criticised him are ultra-Remainers Heidi Allen and Jonathan Djanogly. Why? Because the vast majority of Tory MPs agree with Boris that they don’t like the burka, but also oppose a ban. The vast majority of Labour MPs haven’t publicly criticised him. Why? Because they don’t like the burka, but oppose a ban as well. Boris’ view, critical of the burka, but opposing a ban, is shared by pretty much all liberal, moderate people in Westminster.
You don’t need to be a pollster to know that Boris’ position is – obviously – far more liberal than the view of the country, which wants to follow EU countries like France, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands and Italy in taking legislative action against face veils. The media / leftie virtue signalling against Boris is only going to stoke illiberal sentiment among the population, who will consider the hand-wringing to be typical out of touch faux outrage. You’d expect this from the likes of Owen Jones, but perhaps the Tory party chairman should know better.