General election 2017: UKIP manifesto to pledge a burka ban

UKIP is to include a ban on the full veils worn by some Muslim women as part of its general election manifesto, it's leader Paul Nuttall has said.

Speaking on the BBC's Andrew Marr show Mr Nuttall said wearing a burka or niqab in public was a barrier to integration and a security risk.

Muslim women who defied the ban would face a fine, he suggested.

UKIP's "integration agenda", to be launched on Monday, will also propose outlawing sharia law.

Mr Nuttall told the programme: "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 said that being "hidden behind the veil" contributed to 58% of Muslim women being economically inactive.


Guide to Muslim headscarves

Mr Nuttall said: "We'll come in line with other European countries such as Belgium, Bulgaria - there's a ban for example in the city of Barcelona, some places in Italy and, indeed, Angela Merkel is talking about this in Germany at the moment.

"Manfred Weber, who's the leader of the biggest group in the European Parliament, is now talking about an EU-wide ban. We can either be on the curve on this or behind the curve."

The party's manifesto is also expected to suggest that anyone with evidence of female genital mutilation taking place will be bound by law to inform police.

And it will also call for postal voting to be largely abolished, because of concerns over electoral fraud.

The former UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, proposed a burka ban in 2010.

But the party later dropped the policy, and it did not appear in its 2015 manifesto.

Full-face veils are already banned in public in some European countries, including France.