1. SOUNDBITE (English) Theresa May, UK Prime Minister:
"First of all, I believe, and the government believes that the question of how a woman should dress is matter for a woman's individual choice. Nobody should tell a woman how to dress. As we discuss these issues, and openly discuss these issues, it's imperative that everybody is careful in the language that they use. It's very clear that the language Boris Johnon used to describe people's appearance, has caused offence. It's not language I would've used, I think it was wrong to have used that language and I agree with Brandon Lewis."
British Prime Minister Theresa May criticised her former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson for a newspaper column in which he described burqa-wearing women as "letter boxes" and "bank robbers".
Johnson, who quit the government last month in a dispute over Brexit, made the remarks in a Daily Telegraph article published on Monday.
"It is imperative that everybody is careful in the language that they use. It's very clear that the language Boris Johnon used to describe people's appearance, has caused offence. It's not language I would've used, I think it was wrong to have used that language," she said.
In his article, Johnson said he opposed banning burqas and other face-covering garments, but wrote that it was "absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes."
His article drew criticism from Muslim groups and fellow politicians - including some Conservatives.
The Conservative Party's chairman, Brandon Lewis, has asked for Johnson to publicly apologise for the comments he made.
Latin-spouting, tousle-headed Johnson is a former mayor of London and one of Britain's best-known politicians.
He resigned as foreign secretary in July, accusing Prime Minister Theresa May of killing "the Brexit dream" with her plan to seek close economic ties with the European Union after the UK leaves the bloc next year.
The resignation solidified Johnson's position as a leader of the pro-Brexit wing of the Conservative Party, which is deeply divided over its attitude to the EU.
Many expect May to face a leadership challenge if faltering Brexit negotiations don't improve - and Johnson is likely to be a contender to replace her.
Some suspected Johnson's burqa comments were intended to boost his appeal among right-wing members of the party.
Sayeeda Warsi, a Conservative member of the House of Lords, said Johnson was using Muslim women as a "convenient political football to try and increase his poll ratings."
"These were offensive comments but clever politics," she said. "Boris knew the effect and the impact that this kind of dog-whistle politics would have."
Several European countries, including France, Belgium and Denmark, have banned face-covering veils in public, but none of Britain's main political parties supports such a restriction.