UKIP, burqa bans – and resignations

The Guardian reports that West Midlands MEP James Carver has just resigned as UKIP’s Foreign & Commonwealth affairs spokesman in protest against Paul Nuttall’s call for a burqa ban. In a statement released earlier today, he said this:

“I would be one of the first to condemn a ban on wearing a crucifix as an infringement of liberty. No-one has the right to dictate what people should wear. When facial identification is necessary, such as at passport controls, or in a bank, then it is perfectly reasonable to order the removal of veils, as is the practice, but in a free and liberal society, people have a right to their religious beliefs, and to dress as they see fit.

It is, therefore, with deep regret, that I have decided to resign as UKIP’s Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs spokesman, as I feel this policy undermines my desire to represent all communities within the West Midlands, including the many British Muslims, who, I know, from first-hand experience, voted to leave the EU in last year’s referendum … I have consistently spoken of my desire for a truly global perspective for the United Kingdom, outside of the European Union, and I see this policy as being incompatible with that aim.”

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