Best known to audiences worldwide as Mr. Bean, humorist Rowan Atkinson wrote to The Times, saying:
"As a lifelong beneficiary of the freedom to make jokes about religion, I do think that Boris Johnson's joke about wearers of the burqa resembling letterboxes is a pretty good one."
Mr. Atkinson's response prompted a mixed bag of reactions on social media.
— Richard Littler (@richard_littler) August 10, 2018
— David Frost (@Frost62g) August 10, 2018
— liz COYS 🌹♿️ #PCPEU (@simpson_liz) August 10, 2018
— Claire Green (@Claire_Green_) August 10, 2018
The list of Mr. Johnson's backers includes a leading British imam, who like Atkinson, argued the Uxbridge MP should not offer apologies for his burqa comments.
A number of MPs have condemned Mr. Johnson's rhetoric, while Britain's Minister for the Middle, East Alistair Burt, called on him to apologize. The Conservative Party may expel Boris Johnson, pending the results of a possible investigation into breaches of the code of conduct by the MP.