Female MP's 'ban the veil' call sparks row
A Conservative MP has sparked a Twitter backlash after she said Islamic veils should be banned in all schools – suggesting they were "deeply offensive".
Dr Sarah Wollaston, MP for Totnes in Devon, said the niqab was "making women invisible" in her online comments.
She wrote on Twitter: "The niqab should be banned within schools & colleges; how on earth do they promote equality when they collude with making women invisible?"
Moments later, the MP for Totnes posted another message saying: "A general ban on the niqab simply won't happen in the UK but that doesn't mean that it should be endorsed by schools or courts."
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But she sparked a backlash from dozens of online followers who accused her of "missing the point".
One woman replied: "How about asking a woman who wears niqab what she thinks about her freedom? Or does her opinion does not matter?"
Muslim commentator Mohammed Ansar added: "Do you accept and support the right of a woman to dress as she wishes?"
Her comments came after Birmingham Metropolitan College performed a U-turn following a decision to ban Muslim students wearing burkas – sparking a protest by thousands of students.