Former justice secretary Ken Clarke has said Muslim women giving evidence in court should not be able to wear the face veil in court because it is almost impossible to have a proper trial when they are "in a kind of bag".

Clarke, now a minster without portfolio, said body language plays a vital part in allowing jurors to assess if a witness is telling the truth and insisted he could not see how that was possible "when they are facing somebody who is veiled".

"It's a most peculiar costume for people to adopt in the 21st century," he added.

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