18 Jul 2010

Burqa ban "rather un-British" says minister

8:44 pm on 18 July 2010

Britain's Immigration Minister says banning the wearing of burqas in public would be un-British and he has attacked efforts to make it illegal.

Damian Green said it would be undesirable for parliament to try to pass such a law which would be at odds with the UK's tolerant and mutually respectful society.

Fellow Tory MP Philip Hollobone has introduced a private members' bill which would make it illegal for people to cover their faces in public.

More than two thirds of voters back a ban like that approved almost unanimously by French MPs last week, according to a recent opinion poll.

The French legislation, which is backed by President Nicolas Sarkozy, will pass to the upper house in September.