Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today waded into a row over Muslim dress by declaring it not ‘appropriate’ for students to wear a full veil in the classroom or for people to go through airport security with their faces covered.
But Mr Clegg said he did not want to see a state ban on the wearing of religious items of clothing in particular circumstances.
His comments came as Liberal Democrat minister Jeremy Browne said the Government should consider banning Muslim girls and young women from wearing the veil in public places.
The intervention was sparked by a row over the decision by Birmingham Metropolitan College to drop a ban on the wearing of full-face veils amid public protests.
Mr Browne said he was ‘instinctively uneasy’ about restricting religious freedoms, but he added there may be a case to act to protect young girls.
Mr Clegg said: “I think in the classroom, there is an issue of course about teachers being able to address their students in a way where they can address them face-to- face.”