FORMER Blackburn MP Jack Straw has criticised the European Court of Justice ruling employers are entitled to ban staff from wearing headscarves to work.

It said any prohibition on the ‘visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign’ must be based on internal company rules requiring all employees to ‘dress neutrally’.


Mr Straw, who in 2006 angered some Muslim groups by suggesting women who wear full face veils can make community relations harder, disagreed with the judges decision.

The former Labour cabinet minister said: “I think the judgement is wrong.

“It will make community relations with Muslims more difficult.

“I think anyone should be able to wear appropriate religious items of dress to work unless there is a hygiene and safety issue

“That applies to Muslim headscarves, Christian crosses of Jewish Stars of David.

“This is different from the communication issue raised by full face veils which I raised in 2006.”