Ukip calls for ban on burkas

Banning Muslim women from covering their faces is neither "radical or ridiculous", former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage insisted yesterday.

The Euro MP said his party's call to outlaw Islamic face veils was about preventing extremists from imposing their culture, including sharia, on Britain. But Schools Secretary Ed Balls described it as "not British". Mr Farage told BBC1's Politics Show that his party wanted to ban the "covering of the face in public places". He described the face veil as "a symbol of something that is used to oppress women" and "a symbol of a divided Britain".

France is seeking to push a ban into law, and other countries are considering similar measures, Mr Farage said, adding: "There is nothing extreme or radical or ridiculous about this, but we can't go on living in a divided society."