Innvandringsminister Damian Green sier det ikke er aktuelt å forby burka på offentlig sted i Storbritannia. – Det er noe ubritisk over et slikt forslag, sier statsråden. Men 67 prosent av velgerne ønsker et forbud mot full tildekking på offentlig sted.
Damian Green said such a move would be «rather un-British» and run contrary to the conventions of a «tolerant and mutually respectful society».
He said it would be «undesirable» for Parliament to vote on a burka ban in Britain and that there was no prospect of the Coalition proposing it.
His comments will dismay the growing number of supporters of a ban. A YouGov survey last week found that 67 per cent of voters wanted the wearing of full-face veils to be made illegal.
Mr Green used a wide-ranging interview with The Sunday Telegraph, his first since taking up his post at the Home Office in May, to issue a «message around the world that Britain is no longer a soft touch on immigration».
He said the summer would see a major crackdown on the main streams of illegal immigration — including sham marriages, illegal workers and people trafficking — and confirmed that this autumn the Government would set an overall cap on migrants entering Britain from outside the European Union.
His firm decision to rule out a burka ban will disappoint some Right-of-centre Tory MPs, including Philip Hollobone, who has tabled a private member’s bill that would make it illegal for anyone to cover their face in public.
Mr Hollobone, the MP for Kettering, said this weekend that he would refuse to hold any constituency meetings with women wearing burkas.
The United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip) has also supported calls for a ban after last week’s vote by French parliamentarians to outlaw full-face veils, including burkas, in public. Deputies in France’s National Assembly backed the ban by 335 votes to one.
The Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, has revealed he is not in favour of an outright ban on the burka – but adds that they should not be worn if doing so «compromises public or personal safety, endangers national security or impedes professional or social interaction».
Burka ban ruled out by immigration minister
Britain will not follow France by introducing a law banning women from wearing the burka, the immigration minister has ruled.