MP Yasmin Qureshi accused Boris Johnson for “playing with fire” by comparing women who wear the burka to bank robbers and letter boxes.

The former Foreign Secretary made the comments in a Daily Telegraph column on Monday and is now facing an investigation into breaches of the Conservative Party code of conduct.

Ms Qureshi criticised Mr Johnson for calling veiled women “bank robbers” because it is an emotive term suggesting criminality.

The Bolton South East MP said: “For a man in his position, it is totally irresponsible to say this type of thing.”

Elected in 2010, Ms Qureshi was one of three MPs to become the first Muslim females in parliament.

The Labour MP said there has been a rise in attacks on Muslim women wearing headscarves recently and said Mr Johnson’s comments would only make this worse.

In the month that followed the Manchester Arena attack last year, Islamophobic attacks soared by more than 505 per cent in Greater Manchester, according to police.

A Sky Data poll found that six in 10 Britons believe that it is not racist to describe women in burkas as looking like "letter boxes" and "bank robbers".

Mrs Qureshi said very few women in the UK wear a niqab, which leaves the area around the eyes clear, and even fewer wear a burka which only leaves a mesh screen to see through.

She warned that the world seemed to be turning to right-wing fascist leaders who deal with problems by blaming Muslims.

She said: “The truth of the matter is that the far right love that type of thing. They are all playing with fire. We could be heading back to a situation like the fascism in the 1940s.

In the column, Mr Johnson said that the burka is “oppressive” and “ridiculous” but argued that it should not be banned.

Ms Qureshi said: “There are very few women who wear the niqab in the UK and Europe but the amount of capital made out of it seems to be beyond the issue.”

She said that she was most frustrated by the hypocrisy of men who argue that veiled women are oppressed by their husbands, but tell Muslim women what to wear. She said: “It’s just some men telling other men what women should wear.”

According to Bolton Council of Mosques, approximately 33,600 Muslims live in Bolton, making up 12 per cent of the borough’s population. The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) welcomed the decision by the Conservative Party to investigate Mr Johnson.

President of MAB Anas Altikriti said: “This is an example of the dog whistle politics he and some other members within the Conservative Party are willing to bring back into this country from their friends across the Atlantic.”