Today, a teaching assistant in Dewsbury lost her tribunal case having claimed religious discrimination. She was sacked for refusing to remove her veil during lessons. However she won £1100 for a separate ‘victimisation’ claim.

Several politicians have followed Jack Straw by wading into the debate on veils. Now my opinion is hardly as newsworthy as theirs but I do believe that there are obvious fundamental problems in trying to communicate with children whilst wearing a Niqab, the full-face veil. Of course there should be the freedom to wear what you want in your own time but such fundamental barriers need to be recognised and dealt with without the easy charge of religious discrimination being pushed, taking advantage of the current twin fears of Islamaphobia and compensation lawyers.

Dewsbury MP Shahid Malik has supported the suspension of the teacher as have other leading Muslims explaining that there is no requirement for a woman to cover up in front of pre-adolescent children.