London: Britain was "very unlikely" to
introduce a ban on Muslim women wearing face-covering veils
despite widespread public support for such a move, Immigration Minister Damian Green said.
He told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper that a ban
similar to that approved in France, and which a poll on Friday
showed was backed by 67 per cent of Britons, was a "rather
un-British thing to do".
A fellow Conservative lawmaker had earlier said he
refused to meet female constituents who wore the face veil and
had proposed a law to ban the practice.
However, Green said: "Telling people what they can and
can`t wear, if they`re just walking down the street, is a
rather un-British thing to do. We`re a tolerant and mutually
The immigration minister acknowledged there were
occasions when it was important to be able to see someone`s
"But I think it`s very unlikely and it would be
undesirable for the British parliament to try and pass a law
dictating what people wore," he said.
Green added that unlike France, Britain was not
This week French lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to ban
face-covering veils in public, in a bill which will go to the
Senate for approval.
Philip Hollobone, a member of parliament (MP) from
Prime Minister David Cameron`s Conservative party, said
Saturday that he demands women remove their face veils when
they visit him in his constituency in central England.
"If she said: `No`, I would take the view that she
could see my face, I could not see hers, I am not able to
satisfy myself she is who she says she is," he told the
"I would invite her to communicate with me in a
different way, probably in the form of a letter."
Hollobone has also tabled a bill in Parliament to
regulate certain face coverings, although it will not be
debated until December and is highly unlikely to become law
due to a lack of government support.
About 400 Muslims live in Kettering, Hollobone`s
constituency, according to the local Muslim association, out
of a total of 50,000 people in the town.