A video, circulating on social media this weekend, portrays the head teacher of England's best primary school as Hitler. The school's former chairman of governors is Stalin and some of its management team are shown as Hitler's acolytes.

The film, which has been retweeted by men in the local community, is the latest salvo in an increasingly vicious war in London's East End over whether St Stephen's — a secular state school in the heart of a largely Pakistani and Bangladeshi community — has the right to rule that children under the age of eight should be banned from wearing the Islamic headscarf in class.

The furore comes after Neena Lall, head of St Stephen's, and Arif Qawi, who chaired the governors at the time, explained in a film and interview for The Sunday Times why they had decided to ban the hijab for young girls.

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