UKIP’s election manifesto will reportedly include a pledge to ban full-face veils worn by some Muslim women.
Party leader Paul Nuttall will launch what he calls an “integration agenda” on Monday.
The election manifesto is expected to include banning wearing the burka and niqab in public, which he will argue is a barrier to social harmony, as well as a security risk.
The niqab covers the face except the eyes, while the burka covers the entire face, often incorporating a mesh screen to see through.
Mr Nuttall will also propose outlawing Sharia law – the religious rules that form part of Islamic tradition.
The MEP, who said in 2013 that UKIP would not pursue a blanket ban against face-covering veils, denied the proposals amounted to an “attack” on Muslims.
He told the Andrew Marr Show: “We have a heightened security risk at the moment and for CCTV 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.”
He added that calls to ban Sharia law in the UK were designed to stop a “parallel legal system” in the country.
Asked if he would ban mosques from opening, Mr Nuttall replied: “Of course mosques will stay open.
“This isn’t an attack specifically on Muslims, it’s all about integration.”
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage proposed a burka ban in 2010, arguing they were a symbol of an “increasingly divided Britain” and “oppressed” women.
Wearing a burka – which covers the entire body including the face – is already banned in some countries including France, Belgium and Bulgaria.
“Just as we have been vindicated on the need to recognise the downsides of uncontrolled immigration and the hollowing out of our democracy brought about by EU membership, so we shall be vindicated on the need to be more robust in tackling extremism and defending British values,” Mr Nuttall will say, according to The Sun.
UKIP will also call for postal voting to be largely abolished, because of concerns over electoral fraud.
A YouGov survey published in the wake of Theresa May’s shock election call put the party on 7% – UKIP’s lowest rating with the polling agency for four years.
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