(CNN)Boris Johnson, who until recently was the UK's foreign secretary, is facing an investigation into potential breaches of the Conservative Party's code of conduct, CNN understands.
Boris Johnson facing party probe over burqa comments
The party is understood to have received a number of complaints after Johnson likened Muslim women who choose to wear veils to "bank robbers" and "letter boxes" in a newspaper column earlier this week.
The comments were made in Johnson's weekly column for Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, in which he was criticizing Denmark's recent implementation of a burqa ban.
An independent panel will be convened to review the complaints.
A spokesperson for the governing Conservative Party said in an emailed statement: "The code of conduct process is strictly confidential."
Johnson has come under increasing pressure in recent days and was asked to apologize for his remarks by Brandon Lewis, the chairman of the Conservative Party.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Theresa May joined the growing chorus of lawmakers publicly rebuking Johnson over his choice of language.
"It's not language I would have used and I think he was wrong to have used that language, and I agree with Brandon Lewis," May said.