Tory minister calls for ban on veils
A top Tory politician yesterday said Muslim women should be banned from wearing a veil when giving evidence in courts – and likened it to wearing a bag.
Ken Clarke, a minister without portfolio in David Cameron's government, argued that it was hard to judge someone's testimony through a veil.
But, in comments likely to stir up an already emotive debate, Mr Clarke, who used to work as a criminal barrister, likened traditional female Islamic dress to being "in a kind of bag", and said he found it "a most peculiar costume for people to adopt in the 21st Century".
"I don't think a witness should be allowed to give evidence from behind a veil," Mr Clarke told BBC radio.
"I can't see how on earth a judge and a jury can really appraise evidence when you're facing someone who is cloaked and is completely invisible to you. It's almost impossible to have a proper trial if one of the persons is in a kind of bag."