Nick Clegg slams 'ridiculous' Paris Opera for throwing out Muslim wearing veil
23 October 2014, 11:36
The Deputy Prime Minister has weighed in on a debate about a woman who was ejected from the Opera Bastille for flouting a French law on wearing veils in public.
Mr Clegg, speaking on LBC's 'Call Clegg' feature, described the cast of the Paris Opera as "ridiculous" for refusing to perform the second half of La Traviata at Opéra Bastille.
A woman in the audience, described as a tourist from one of the Gulf states, was wearing a full Islamic niqab over her face, which has been illegal in France since 2011.
Clegg commented: "She's just in the audience. That's ridiculous to stop it. What are you going to do next, throw people out for having tattoos?"
"I do not want this country to become like France where you start prescribing by law what people can wear."
The original incident, which took place earlier this month, resulted in the woman leaving the opera at the interval after a member of staff informed her of the delay.
At the time, deputy director Jean-Philippe Thiellay commented: "It's never nice to ask someone to leave. But there was a misunderstanding of the law and the lady either had to respect it or leave."