A Tory MP has launched a legal bid to ban Muslim women from wearing burkas in public places.
Philip Hollobone has tabled a private members' bill which would make it illegal for anyone to cover their face in public.
Mr Hollobone has previously likened full face veils to 'going round with a paper bag over your head'.
His Face Coverings (Regulation) Bill is the first of its kind in Britain, and is one of only 20 private members' bills drawn in a ballot for the chance to make it into the statute books.
The bill, which had its first reading yesterday, stands little chance of becoming law due to limited Parliamentary time and a lack of support from the main political parties. But it is set to reignite the fierce debate about the banning of the Islamic garments at a time when a number of European countries are trying to outlaw them.
Mr Hollobone said it was 'not the British way' for Muslim women to cover their faces in public.
Insisting that his bill has widespread public support, the Kettering MP added:
'People feel that something should be done about burkas, but so many are afraid to speak out for fear of being labelled a racist. Part of the British way of life is walking down the street, smiling at people and saying hello, whether you know them or not. You cannot have this everyday human interaction if you cover your face. These people are saying that they don't want to be part of our way of society.'