British public would back burqa and burkini bans

British public would back burqa and burkini bans
Following uproar in France, almost half of the British public said they would back similar bans on the burkini swimwear in the UK.
2 min read
01 September, 2016
Face covering has become a contentious issue in the UK [Getty]

Twice as many British people support a ban on women wearing a burqa than oppose one, while almost half back legal restrictions on "burkinis", according to a poll published on Thursday.

Some 57 percent of the 1,668 adults polled by YouGov said they supported "a law that bans people from wearing the burqa in the UK", with just over a third "strongly supporting" the ban.

Only one in ten were "strongly opposed" to a ban.

Around 84 percent of all UKIP voters and 66 percent of Conservatives backed the ban, while 48 percent of Labour voters and 42 percent of Lib Dems would support the law.

The poll comes following a row in France about the banning of the burkini in around 30 coastal resorts in the Riviera. 

The country's highest administrative court later suspended the ruling after it was challenged by rights groups.

Some 46 percent of British people would support a similar ban on the burkini, against 30 percent who were opposed, with 18 percent neither for or against.

Support for the ban on the burqa, worn by women in some Islamic traditions to hide the body and face, was uniform across supporters of all political parties, although strongest among Conservative and UK Independence Party backers.

The only demographics to oppose the ban were 18-24 year-olds - by a margin of six percent - and those who voted to remain in the European Union, but only by a margin of three percent.

The ban was also supported across the regions, with 51 percent of Londoners and 63 percent of northerners in favour.

A similar YouGov survey in Germany found 62 percent in support of a burqa ban, but another in the United States found that 59 percent believed "people should be allowed to decide for themselves what to wear".