In Brief

Cameron backs ban on Muslim face veils in public areas

'Sensible rules' must prevail, says Prime Minister, as government launches website to protect children from extremism

David Cameron has said he will back public authorities that ban women from wearing face veils in British institutions such as courts and border control areas.

The Prime Minister has refused to support a blanket ban - such as the one introduced in France in 2010 - but said individual organisations can stop women covering their faces for religious reasons in certain 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 told BBC Radio 4.

But, he added: "When you are coming into contact with an institution or you're in court, or if you need to be able to see someone's face at the border, then I will always back the authority and institution that have put in place proper and sensible rules."

His comments will "reignite the row" over bans on veils, says the Daily Telegraph, which points out that more than a dozen NHS hospitals have previously prohibited staff from wearing a full veil when dealing with patients.

"A number of Conservative MPs want the government to consider a full ban on the veil," adds the newspaper.

Cameron's remarks came as the government revealed a series of measures aimed at preventing radicalisation, including outlawing gender segregation during meetings in public buildings.

Today, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan will announce plans to force schools to stop pupils from travelling overseas to fight with extremist groups such as Islamic State. One measure under consideration is obliging schools to inform local authorities if pupils are absent without explanation.

Morgan is also launching a website for parents and teachers that warns about possible signs that children are being targeted, such as "excessive time spent online or on mobile phones" and a "susceptibility to conspiracy theories and a feeling of persecution".

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister's threat to deport Muslim women who fail English language tests after coming to the UK on spousal visas has come under fire from critics. Labour's shadow home secretary, Andy Burnham, described it as a "clumsy and simplistic" approach that could end up stoking extremism.

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