From The Daily Mail
A Tory MP who was probed by police for alleged racial hatred earlier this year has launched a landmark bid to ban Muslim women from wearing the burkha in Britain.
Philip Hollobone will today attempt to steer legislation through the Commons to regulate the wearing of ‘certain facial coverings’.
The Kettering MP said his Bill would make it illegal for people to cover their faces in public ‘which would obviously have a big impact for those who wear full-face Islamic veils’.
He said: ‘I think it’s inappropriate to cover your face in public, whether it’s a burkha, a balaclava or anything else.
‘We are never going to get along with having a fully integrated society if a substantial minority insist on concealing their identity from everyone else.’
Mr Hollobone has previously described the burkha as ‘offensive’ and ‘against the British way of life’.
He was investigated by police for alleged racial hatred after described the garment as ‘the religious equivalent of going around with a paper bag over your head with two holes for the eyes’.
In a debate over immigration on February 2, the Kettering MP said: ‘How ridiculous would the House of Commons be if we were all to wear burkhas? How would Mr Speaker be able to identify which member to call next?
‘In my view, it is offensive to want to cut yourself off from face-to-face contact with, or recognition by, other members of the human race.’
Northamptonshire Race Equality Council, which is funded by taxpayers, complained to police.
Mr Hollobone said the group wanted to see him prosecuted for inciting religious hatred but the Crown Prosecution Service has decided not to take action.
The backbencher was one of 20 MPs drawn in a ballot for the chance to get a Private Members’ Bill on the statute book.
His comments have attracted criticism but also a ‘great deal of support’, he said.
The MP said the British public like to smile and greet one another in the street but ‘you simply can’t have that degree of interaction with people if you can’t see their face’.
His Face Coverings (Regulation) Bill had its first reading in the Commons today, a formality which allows the legislation to be printed.
Because Mr Hollobone was only drawn 17th in the ballot, his Bill stands little chance of progress.
But he said: ‘The introduction of a Private Members’ Bill is the only way I can get new legislation on to the books.
‘I just have to do my best with the parliamentary procedures available.’