Ukip leadership candidate Lisa Duffy has again denied she is chasing the “bigoted vote” as she repeated her call for a ban on the face veil.
Duffy, whose leadership bid is supported by former Ukip Deputy Chairman Suzanne Evans, told BBC Radio 4 Today’s programme this morning the party needed to talk about “challenging and difficult issues”.
“If someone was wearing a crash helmet we would expect them to show their face. Wearing a face veil is not within the koran so its not wrong to ask someone to show their face,” she said.
Duffy, who is not well known outside of Ukip circles, denied banning the face veil was unfairly targeting Muslims. “I am not asking them to do anything that is against their religion. I don’t want to tell people what the should or shouldn’t wear,” she said. “Modest dressing is what they are asked to do within their religion.”
She said the veil should be banned in “areas of high security and public places” such as banks or airports.
Duffy acknowledged she had been “accused of chasing a bigoted vote, I was going after small minded issue”.
“The next leader has to be a strong leader they have to be a team builder they have to understand our party inside and out and not use the uniqueness that is Ukip,” she said.
Rival leadership challenger Bill Etheridge has said Ukip must “not focusing on small issues like Islam which makes us look small-minded”. He added: “I’m not chasing the bigot vote”
Duffy has also called for a ban on Muslim faith schools. “Until the Islamist terror threat is securely in remission, Islamic faith schools should be closed,” she has said.
“Some may see this as discriminatory, but it is not. If any other faith community becomes the host – unwitting or not – of a significant threat to mainstream society born out of separatism then I can assure you I will campaign for that community’s faith schools to be closed as well.”