Sadiq Khan condemns burkini ban: 'Don't tell women what to wear'

'I don’t think anyone should tell women what they can and can’t wear. Full stop'

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Friday 26 August 2016 10:38 BST
Comments
Sadiq Khan with the Parisian mayor Anne Hidalgo
Sadiq Khan with the Parisian mayor Anne Hidalgo (AP)

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has condemned a controversial “burkini ban” in parts of France, insisting that women should not be told what they can and can’t wear.

It comes amid mounting controversy over the “burkini ban” imposed in several of the country’s world-famous Riviera resorts. Earlier this week photographs emerged showing four male police officers armed with handguns, batons and pepper spray forcing a woman on a beach in Nice to remove what they suspected to be a burkini.

“I’m quite firm on this. I don’t think anyone should tell women what they can and can’t wear. Full stop. It’s as simple as that,” Mr Khan told the Evening Standard.

Burkini ban protest outside London's French Embassy

He added: “I don’t think it’s right. I’m not saying we’re perfect yet, but one of the joys of London is that we don’t simply tolerate difference, we respect it, we embrace it, and we celebrate it.”

Mr Khan, who was elected mayor of London earlier this year, was meeting his Parisian counterpart Anne Hidalgo for talks on trade, security and measures to tackle air pollution. “London and Paris are two of the greatest commercial and cultural cities in the world and we have much to gain from working even closer together post-referendum,” Mr Khan added.

"We have a thriving French community in London, who make a massive contribution to the economy and the vibrancy of our city, and I want to reassure them that they'll always be welcome.

The photograph of a woman forced to remove her clothing was met with outrage
The photograph of a woman forced to remove her clothing was met with outrage (Vantage)

"I'm here in Paris to make it clear that London is open - open to the world, open to trade, open for new business ventures and collaborations, open to new ideas, new talent and people.

"Following the EU referendum result, I'm working to ensure London remains the best place in the world to do business and that we have the powers we need to protect jobs, wealth and prosperity."

The London Mayor also pledged continued support for Paris following the terrorist attacks in the city last year. "London stands firmly with Paris in the aftermath of the horrendous attacks the city suffered. We will do everything we can to support Paris and all our European counterparts in the continued fight against extremism and those who wish to divide and harm us,” he added.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in