Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema's comments about new legislation banning face covering garments from government buildings were 'premature and inappropriate', junior home affairs minister Raymond Knops said on Tuesday afternoon.
'The comments were inappropriate and unfitting for the office of mayor,' he told MPs in a reaction to questions. 'Amsterdam's mayor cannot continue to back this standpoint. I am assuming she will take back her words and keep to the law.'
Halsema has been heavily criticized for telling local broadcaster AT5 she did not consider that 'hauling someone out of the tram for wearing a niqab' was 'fitting' in Amsterdam. She also suggested there were better uses of scarce police manpower.