BORIS Johnson’s comments about Muslim women wearing burkas have helped make hate crime more likely, Baroness Warsi has said.

The former Conservative Party chair accused the ex-foreign secretary of using “alt-right” language and turning Muslims into “political fodder”.

It comes after Prime Minister Theresa May joined calls for Mr Johnson to apologise for his remarks, but failed to condemn them as Islamophobic.

Mr Johnson has refused to back down after he said Muslim women wearing burkas looked like letter boxes and bank robbers.

Conservative Muslim Forum founder Lord Sheikh has now insisted he should be kicked out of the party.

Writing in The Guardian, Baroness Warsi accused Mr Johnson of an “offensive” and “dangerous” approach.

She said: “Johnson’s words have once again validated the view of those that ‘other’ Muslims. They send out a message that Muslim women are fair game. What starts as useful targets for ‘colourful political language’ and the odd bit of toxic campaigning ends up in attacks on our streets.”

She accused Mr Johnson of using Muslim women as “simply political fodder, their lives a convenient battleground on which to stake out a leadership bid”.

She added: “So, as much as Johnson thinks he’s being his usual clever self, he’s helping to create an environment in which hate crime is more likely.”

Yesterday, Mrs May said she agreed with Tory Party chairman Brandon Lewis, who called on Mr Johnson to apologise.

She said: “Some of the terms that Boris used in describing people’s appearance obviously have offended people, and so I agree with Brandon Lewis.”

But when The Herald repeatedly pressed the Prime Minister on whether she considered Mr Johnson’s language Islamophobic, she failed to address the question.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon accused Mr Johnson of being “deliberately provocative”, adding: “It is Islamophobia, and I think it’s pretty outrageous. Hopefully if she hasn’t already, the Prime Minister will be unequivocal in condemning it.”

A source close to Mr Johnson, who is said to be considering a leadership bid, has made clear he will not retract his comments.