LONDON -- The far-right UK Independence Party (UKIP) has pledged in its general election manifesto to ban the burqas or the full face veils in public places, citing among others a bizarre reason that they "prevent intake of essential vitamin D from sunlight".
"Clothing that hides identity, puts up barriers to communication, limits employment opportunities, hides evidence of domestic abuse, and prevents intake of essential vitamin D from sunlight, is not liberating," the UKIP election manifesto says.
The Paul Nuttall-led UKIP broke ranks with the other major parties on Thursday by resuming national campaigning with the launch of its manifesto just days after the Manchester concert bombing that claimed 22 lives.
The UKIP pledged that it would introduce a ban on the wearing of the "dehumanising" burqa and full face coverings in public places, The Telegraph reported.
"Face coverings such as these are barriers to integration. We will not accept these de-humanising symbols of segregation and oppression, nor the security risks they pose," it says.
Suggestions that UKIP is undermining liberty with this policy are absurd, the manifesto argues.
"There is no human right to conceal your identity. If anything prevents liberty, it is the niqab, by preventing women from being perceived as individuals in their own right," it says.
"We want to open opportunities to all women, so that they can participate fully in life and in the workplace," it states.
However, the burqa ban was not the only eyebrow-raising promise in the manifesto.
The party also pledged to introduce a "social attitudes" test as part of a points-based immigration system which would stop people who believe women or gay people are "second-class citizens" from entering the country.
"UKIP's points-based immigration system will therefore include one further major principle: we will test the social attitudes of migration applicants to foster community cohesion and protect core British values," the party says.
Another stark election pledge of the UKIP is that it would dramatically reduce the number of politicians in Parliament and abolish the House of Lords.
The UKIP manifesto also states that it would seek to forge closer ties with Vladimir Putin's regime and sees Russia as a "potential important ally".
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