Warning: I have no evidence to back up my opinion. I base this on what I’ve seen of Boris Johnson, politics in general and human nature.
Lots of people like to think of Boris as just a tousled haired buffoon. That’s a mistake. He plays a role and he plays it very well.
This latest furore, concerning his opinions on banning the burqa and what he thinks about those who wear it, is more about attacking Theresa May than an attack on Muslims. They are just a convenient whipping boy. (And let’s be honest, Muslims are not exactly popular amongst the British population no matter what the liberal media might say or do.)
Frankly, the whole episode is a trap. Get May to try and slap Boris down over this supposed off the cuff comments (i.e. wearers of the burqa etc look like post boxes or comic bank robbers) and she’s guaranteed to put the backs up of many of her core supporters in the Tory Party. She becomes, in the eyes of the Tory faithful, a Muslim apologist. That’s a pretty toxic stance to assume when your leadership is on the rockiest of ground.
Will Boris apologise? I don’t think it matters one way or another. What I expect is to hear news of more grassroots dissatisfaction with May’s leadership in the coming days and weeks with a climax timed for the return of parliament in September.