The row follows pictures emerging last week which showed a woman on a beach in France being ordered to remove her full-body swimsuit by armed policemen.

The viral images led to public outcry, as many argued the forcible removal of a woman's clothes could not be done in the name of "freedom" regardless of the circumstances surrounding it.

As protests took place outside the French Embassy in London on Friday, the city's first Muslim Mayor, Sadiq Kahn, weighed in on the debate, telling the Evening Standard: "I don't think anyone should tell women what they can and can't wear. Full stop. It's as simple as that."

Meanwhile, holiday makers expressed solidarity with women in France as they took to social media to share pictures of themselves on beaches wearing burkinis.

Quoting writer Arhundati Roy, one Instagram user wrote: "Coercing a woman out of a burqa is as bad as coercing her into one," while another showed a mocked-up image of a disrobed Statue of Liberty.

A group of women in Brighton held signs stating, "My body, my clothes, my choice."

The garment had been banned in the seaside resort of Villeneuve-Loubet, near Nice. Though 'burkinis' were not specifically named the local law stated that wearing "improper clothes that are not respectful of good morals and secularism" would result in the person being banned from the beaches and fined.

The bans were imposed following the July attacks on Nice, with officials citing concerns over possible disruption of public order caused by beachwear that "ostentatiously displays religious affiliation, when France and places of worship are currently the target of terrorist attacks".

However, despite polls indicating that the majority of the French public are in support of the ban, it has since been overturned by France's highest court, the Council of State, on Friday. Though some mayors said they would ignore the ruling, human rights lawyer Patrice Spinosi, who was involved in the proceedings against Villeneuve-Loubet, warned mayors of legal action if they failed to comply.

It is an issue that looks set to run as former French president Nicolas Sarkozy kicked off his campaign for re-election with calls for a full burkini ban in France. The debate follows laws introduced under Sarkozy's tenure which effectively banned burkas from being worn in public places in France.

#wearwhatyouwant #burkiniban urkiniban Brightonbeach

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Protesting ❤️ #burkiniban #burkini #WeGoAgain

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