A city college was forced to drop its controversial ban on Muslim face veils – less than 24 hours before a mass demonstration by hundreds of students.

The astonishing U-turn by Birmingham Metropolitan College came after a protest petition attracted a staggering 8,000 signatures in just 48 hours.

Hundreds of students planned to gather outside the Matthew Boulton city-centre campus at 2.30pm on Friday to voice their opposition to the policy, which was criticised by city councillors and MPs.

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