Ukip pledge to ban the burqa in party manifesto

Paul Nuttall denies party's proposals amount to 'attack' on Muslims

Samuel Osborne@SamuelOsborne93
Sunday 23 April 2017 09:23
Ukip pledges to ban the burka

Ukip has pledged to ban the burqa from being worn in public in its general election manifesto.

Party leader Paul Nuttall will argue the burqa and niqab is a barrier to social harmony and a security risk as he launches the party's manifesto based on an "integration agenda" this week.

The manifesto will also propose to outlaw Sharia law and make it a legal obligation to report female genital mutilation to police.

It will also call for postal voting to be abolished over concerns of electoral fraud.

Mr Nuttall has denied Ukip's proposals amount to an "attack" on Muslims.

"We have a heightened security risk at the moment and for CCTV to be effective you need to see people's faces, because whether we like it or not in this country there's more CCTV per head than anywhere else on the planet," Mr Nuttall told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.

"We're the most watched and for that to be effective you need to see people's faces.

"Secondly, there's the issue of integration - I don't believe you can integrate fully and enjoy the fruits of British society if you can't see people's faces."

Asked why Ukip had changed from its 2013 stance, when Mr Nuttall said the party would not pursue a blanket ban against face-covering veils, Mr Nuttall said: "There's obviously the bigger security threat that we face now.

"But you look at Trevor Phillips' report last year into Muslims in the UK, you look at the work that Dame Casey has done on this issue - integration is actually getting worse in Britain at the moment, not better. This will help."

France and Belgium have also banned full-face veils in public 

He added that calls to ban Sharia law were designed to stop a "parallel legal system" in the country.

He has argued face veils for Muslim women should be banned in Britain over "security issues" since his election as Ukip leader last year.

Such a ban would bring Britain in line with countries such as France and Belgium.

Questioned if he would take the same action against Jewish courts, Mr Nuttall said: "Beth Din is slightly different.

"We've had Beth Din courts in this country which date all the way back to the days of Cromwell.

"The Orthodox Jewish population is falling, it's about a quarter of a million now.

"The issue surrounding Sharia is that the Muslim population is doubling decade on decade. It's three million now, it'll be six million soon."


Asked if he would ban mosques from opening, Mr Nuttall replied: "Of course mosques will stay open.

"This isn't an attack on specifically on Muslims, it's all about integration."

When suggested people argue Ukip is seeking to become an anti-Muslim party, Mr Nuttall replied: "It cannot be right we have courts or councils in this country where the words of a woman are only worth half that of a man.

"That has no place in a liberal, democratic, functioning western democracy."

The British public overwhelmingly supports banning the burqa, a YouGov poll conducted in August found.

Fifty-seven per cent were in favour of a ban, with just 25 per cent against.

Join our new commenting forum

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

View comments