“Bigot vote”

Ukip leadership candidate says banning veil would make Muslim women more British

Lisa Duffy (Facebook)

As the race heats up in the U.K. Independence Party (Ukip) to replace Nigel Farage, who helped lead the Brexit campaign, one leadership candidate is advocating that Muslim women be banned from wearing the veil in public spaces — including shopping centers, buses, and trains. Lisa Duffy, a local councillor for Ukip in Cambridgeshire, is also recommending that Islamic faith schools be closed indefinitely, and that sharia courts in the U.K. receive a “complete and comprehensive ban.”

Speaking to followers in London, Duffy suggested her policies were about integration, not divisiveness. “Muslims who were born in this country … are as British as I am and I simply want them to feel as British as I do,” said Duffy. Duffy, who is backed by influential former Ukip spokeswoman Suzanne Evans, says that as leader of the party she would promote a “show your face in public” policy that would apply equally to all U.K. citizens, not just Muslims.

Ukip Member of the European Parliament Bill Etheridge, who began his own campaign to become the new party head in Manchester, criticized Duffy for “chasing the bigot vote.” As disputes continue to unfold between supporters of Farage and the Ukip’s only M.P., Douglas Carswell, Etheridge is expected to position himself as the “unity candidate” in the leadership race. “I am proposing that as a party we focus on our policies, cementing libertarianism into our DNA,” said Etheridge. “That means not focusing on small issues like Islam which make us look small-minded.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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