A Conservative MP intent on banning the burka and the niqab in Britain has said that he refuses to deal with women wearing the garments if they visit him at his surgery.
Philip Hollobone, who has proposed a Face Coverings Bill, told the Independent that if a woman in a niqab or burka came to his sugery he would only help them if they reveal their faces.
He said, "I would ask her to remove her veil. If she said: 'No', I would take the view that she could see my face, I could not see hers, I am not able to satisfy myself she is who she says she is. I would invite her to communicate with me in a different way, probably in the form of a letter."
His comments come as politicians across Europe have started to express concern about the issue not just of the burka but of the problems of integration of Muslim immigrants into western society.
Earlier this week French MP's voted to ban full face veils, following similar legislation in Belgium. In the Netherlands the anti-Islamic party of Geert Wilders also looks likely to have significant influence after his party came third in the recent general election in the country.
In 2006 Jack Straw, who served as Justice Secretary under the previous Labour government, revealed that he also asked women wearing veils to take them off at his surgery, although if they refused he would still see them. He said that he was worried that the veil helped separate Muslims from the rest of society.
In 2008 the then Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-ali, who fled from his native Pakistan due to threats from Muslim fundamentalists, said that areas with large Muslim populations in Britain had effectively become "no go areas". He then required police protection after receiving death threats from British Muslims.