A Bradford church minister has slammed British Airways for its "stupid and discriminatory" decision to ban staff from wearing the Christian cross.

Nadia Eweida, 55, lost her appeal on Monday to wear the cross with her uniform to work at Heathrow. She has been off for two months over the row.

Councillor the Reverend Paul Flowers, who is superintendent Minister for Bradford-Great Horton Methodist circuit, e-mailed the chairman and managing director of BA when the matter came to light a few weeks ago.

Coun Flowers (Lab, Great Horton) said: "I received a bland and totally unconvincing response, which had clearly been prepared earlier to respond to likely criticism. I objected then to their short-sighted and perverse decision to discriminate against Miss Eweida in a manner which they clearly would not do if she had been of another faith."

He said the decision was not only "stupid and discriminatory" it also gives all too easy ammunition to all those who claim that multi-culturalism does not work.

Coun Flowers said: "BA should be required to think again about this matter, and until they do so, and reverse their decision, then I will be boycotting them. I hope that others will join a boycott of the airline."

Keighley MP Ann Cryer and Shipley MP Philip Davies have signed a parliamentary motion criticising BA's treatment of check-in worker Miss Ewida, who has been banned from wearing a tiny cross the size of a five pence piece.

A total of 94 MPs from all the major parties have signed at least one of five Early Day Motions in the Commons condemning BA.

Mr Davies said the decision would "breed resentment" among Christians.

He said: "It is simply outrageous. We pander to all other faiths and let people wear turbans and headscarves, and while I have no problem with that I do not see why someone should not be allowed to wear a Christian cross."

British Airways says all jewellery and religious symbols on chains must be worn under the uniform.

But it makes an exception for Sikh turbans and Muslim hijabs because they cannot be covered up.

e-mail: newsdesk@bradford.newsquest.co.uk