On 5th August 2018, the popular British newspaper The Daily Telegraph published an op-ed about Denmark’s Burqa Ban by the former British Foreign Secretary [Foreign Affairs Minister] Boris Johnson. In the article, Johnson uses Islamophobic language that calls women who wear the burqa “ridiculous” and compares them to “letter boxes” and “bank robber[s]”. He has been widely criticised for this and told to apologise by his own Conservative party.
GTTO partner in the UK, the Media Diversity Institute (MDI) wrote a complaint to the newspaper questioning why it allowed Johnson to express his discriminatory views. Although The Daily Telegraph claims to follow IPSO Editors' Code of Practice that prohibits prejudicial or pejorative references to an individual's religion, they responded that Johnson’s article does not breach editorial guidelines, but gave no explanation for this statement. Unsatisfied with this, MDI sent a second complaint asking The Telegraph to clarify why they believe this. As The Telegraph has not responded to the second complaint, MDI complained directly to IPSO. IPSO responded that their guidelines apply to an identifiable individual’s religion only and that newspapers “are free to publish what they think is appropriate”. MDI is considering how to pursue his further.