Comments by Shipley MP Philip Davies that Muslim women must remove veils for security reasons have prompted an invitation to debate the sensitive matter with Bradford’s islamic leaders.

In a House of Commons debate, Mr Davies said that at border controls, banks, police stations or courts there could be no excuse for face covering when security reasons made it necessary for identity to be revealed.

He added the move would stop any repeat of past events whereby one of the killers of PC Sharon Beshinevsky fled the UK wearing a head-to-toe veil posing as a Muslim woman with his face hidden behind a niqab.

“At Heathrow airport I recently saw a woman in a full-face veil come up to passport control and be waved through without having to remove her veil,” said Mr Davies. “I thought that went against what the Government expect at immigration control. We have this politically correct pussyfooting around such issues.

“It is important that where other people are expected to remove their face covering – such as a balaclava at a petrol station, in a bank or at passport control – it is only right, proper and fair that people wearing a face veil are asked to remove their face covering, so that everyone is on a level playing field.”

Zulfi Karim, secretary for the Bradford Council for Mosques said the Muslim community in Bradford would happily have “a sensible debate or conference” on the subject.

“The Muslim community understands the sensitivities involved and of course believes that the laws of the land should be respected,” Mr Karim said. “A sensible debate or conference needs to happen here in Bradford to resolve a way forward.”

Mr Davies also criticised comments made by Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, for not condemning the wave through at customs, instead saying it was up to the customs officer whether the individual was that in the passport.

Mr Davies added: “I have a clear belief that everybody who comes into this country through passport control wearing a full Islamic veil should be required, compulsorily, to remove the veil to identify themselves.”