27/01/2016 05:35 GMT | Updated 27/01/2016 05:59 GMT

Muslim Veil Stops Women Saying 'Hello' So Ban It, Says Tory MP Philip Hollobone

LEON NEAL via Getty Images
Conservative MP, Philip Hollobone, addresses the audience during the launch of the 'Grassroots Out', a new cross-party group that will campaign for the UK to leave the European Union, in the Kettering Conference Centre in Kettering, north of London, on January 23, 2016. An in-or-out referendum on Britain's membership of the bloc will be held by the end of 2017, with British Prime Minister David Cameron hoping to strike a deal on renegotiating Britain's ties, before campaigning to stay in the union. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL / AFP / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

A Conservative MP has said women should be banned from wearing a face veil in public because it stops them from "saying hello" to people.

Philip Hollobone, who has previously proposed a Face Coverings (Prohibition) Bill, told LBC Radio on Wednesday morning he was in favour of a "complete ban".

"I don't want to live in a country where we go around with our faces covered," he said. "Part of the British way of life is smiling, waving, saying hello to passers by.

"If we are all going to go around with our faces covered its going to be a very miserable place indeed. I think it's really sad that in 2016 we're talking about it being acceptable to live in a miserable country where everyone goes around with their faces covered.

He added: "How miserable is that?"

The Kettering MP said "I don't think you should be able to cover your face in public".

LBC presenter Nick Ferrari replied: "Good lord. what about balaclavas on a cold day?"

Last week, David Cameron said he would give his backing to certain institutions such as schools and hospitals implementing a ban on Muslim women wearing veils.

However the prime minister stopped short of supporting a French-style ban in public places. "I think in our country people should be free to wear what they like, within limits live how they like, and all the rest of it," he said.

Home secretary Theresa May is also opposed to a public ban, telling Sky News in 2013: "I think it's for women to make a choice about what clothes they wish to wear, if they wish to wear a veil that is for a woman to make a choice."