NADINE DORRIES: We should support brave head Katharine Birbalsingh – and ban prayer mats in schools

NADINE DORRIES: We should support brave head Katharine Birbalsingh – and ban prayer mats in schools

Again in 2006, Jack Straw — the previous Residence and Overseas Secretary who was then Labour MP for Blackburn — wrote in his native newspaper that he felt uncomfortable speaking to ladies who got here to see him at his constituency surgical procedure with a veil masking their faces.

He added that he was involved sporting a full veil made group relations more durable.

The backlash was instantaneous and ferocious. The Islamic Human Rights Fee judged he was responsible of selective discrimination. Others known as his remarks ‘offensive’ and ‘ill-conceived’.

I used to be sitting within the MPs’ tea room within the Commons on the day the storm broke, and watched as feminine Labour MPs bore down on Jack as he queued for his tea and crumpets, to berate him for what he had stated.

Katharine Birbalsingh is being sued by a Muslim pupil for banning prayers at school break occasions

I used to be confused. In what world would any feminist assume it was acceptable that ladies and ladies cowl their faces; that they shouldn’t be seen so that they don’t lead males astray and inflame their sexual urges?

Jack appeared uncomfortable, glanced at his telephone and made a hasty exit.

As he headed for the door and previous the Tory tables, just a few of us known as out our help. ‘They don’t need him upsetting the Labour vote,’ defined one MP, dunking a Hobnob in his tea.

Protecting a lady’s face with a veil shouldn’t be required by the Koran. To my thoughts, it’s a custom rooted in misogyny and belongs at nighttime ages. It was proper for Jack Straw to query the deserves of the veil, regardless that he turned a lightning rod for the difficulty. Not that you will note any MP rush to embrace his trigger as we speak.

I used to be reminded of all this final week once we realized Katharine Birbalsingh, head instructor of Michaela Group College — the strictest faculty within the nation, with an ‘excellent’ Ofsted score and glorious educational outcomes — is being sued by a feminine pupil for banning ritual prayer in the course of the faculty day.

Round half the varsity’s consumption is Muslim and the ban was launched as a result of group prayers by a lot of pupils had led to dysfunction and the intimidation of youngsters and academics. After the ban, order was restored.

The pupil’s problem is being funded by £100,000 of taxpayers’ cash in Authorized Help, and her lawyer — a KC no much less — says the ban has ‘essentially modified how she feels as a Muslim on this nation’.

The identical pupil, by the best way, was reprimanded for intimidating youngsters who didn’t quick throughout Ramadan and suspended final 12 months for reportedly threatening to stab one other pupil.

Katharine has beforehand banned cell phones in her faculty (a transfer applauded by Training Secretary Gillian Keegan, who has since introduced her personal plan to ban cell phones in all colleges).

Katharine makes it clear her faculty is non-religious and is sticking to her weapons. All pupils are handled equally. Everybody eats vegetarian meals to keep away from segregation at meal occasions. There’s no particular remedy for anybody. No prayer mats, no chapels. Hijabs are allowed, nevertheless, though I believe that if the varsity is actually secular, they shouldn’t be.

The unhappy reality is that every time a faculty takes a stand in opposition to Islamic militancy, it appears to finish up having to again down.

Barclay Main College in East London banned political symbols, together with the Palestinian flag. However the backlash was so violent, they now have cops stationed within the faculty.

One other faculty in East London was pressured to drop its ban on main faculty youngsters sporting the hijab for a similar cause; and all of us noticed the indignant demonstrations exterior a faculty in Birmingham by Muslims who objected in 2019 to the instructing of intercourse schooling.

The lawyer representing the pupil at Michaela is predicated at Matrix chambers, one of the crucial costly within the nation. And the reality is, Katharine may very seemingly lose.

The defence of the woman is that whereas Catholics can pray to God of their head, privately, Muslims are required to hope ritually on a mat. So the ban is discriminatory. That is the authorized pinhead on which Katharine might lose her case and Michaela faculty’s prized non-religious standing.

Michaela Community School in Brent, north-west London, is known as the strictest in Britain

Michaela Group College in Brent, north-west London, is named the strictest in Britain 

It’s time for Training Secretary Keegan to step up and be the brand new Jack Straw. To help Katharine Birbalsingh and wrap the protecting arms of the state round Michaela faculty.

If she will ban cell phones in colleges, she will ban prayer mats, and the sporting of hijabs by main faculty youngsters, too.

We would like extra colleges to comply with Michaela’s lead — not for it to be pressured to develop into like so many others.

Cameron as caretaker? The Plot thickens 

The Mail on Sunday reviews that No 10 was on alert after aides of Kemi Badenoch launched a slipshod and botched failed management bid on December 6 final 12 months.

This will likely be no shock to those that have learn my ebook, The Plot, serialised on this paper and which instructed of the ­characters who’ve been creating chaos on the coronary heart of the Conservatives ever because the time they tried to have Norman Tebbit expelled from the get together in 2002.

Readers will know that Kemi has been the protegee and ally of one of many important disruptors and central characters in The Plot, a mysterious key adviser on the coronary heart of No 10 and Conservative Central Workplace known as Dougie Smith, who as soon as organised intercourse events.

With Conservatives nonetheless polling solely 20 factors, it’s clear {that a} vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will arrive sooner moderately than later if issues don’t change, and MPs even in protected seats watch helplessly as their massive majorities soften away.

Neither the individuals nor the media will settle for one other management election if Rishi is eliminated.

MPs could also be ­persuaded {that a} clean switch of energy with out an election would be the most suitable choice for stability and the continued survival of the get together. That’s what occurred when Michael Howard stepped in following the ­defenestration of Iain Duncan Smith in 2003 by the identical males who would later take away Boris Johnson.

Who would fill the hole if Rishi goes? David Cameron’s appointment as ­Overseas Secretary blindsided us all. So don’t be shocked in case you hear the phrases: ‘Step ahead, Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton.’

It’s virtually as if it was all a part of a plot. If those that conceal within the shadows can’t be assured of getting their ­most well-liked candidate, Kemi Badenoch, into the job, a caretaker PM whereas they regroup may suffice.

Traitors to peace and quiet 

Are all of us prepared for the ultimate of The Traitors (with host Claudia Winkleman)? Wine within the fridge? Snacks on the prepared?

We will likely be at my home, with all three daughters spherical to observe it with me. The difficulty is, all of them discuss a lot will probably be pause button on and off as I hiss, ‘Ssshhh, I’m making an attempt to observe’, whereas they hold a working dialogue going.

Would I moderately watch it alone, in peace and quiet? By no means. Who would I’ve to moan at?

Nadine will be watching the final Traitors episode, hosted by Claudia Winkleman (pictured) with her three daughters - even though they're likely to talk through the whole show

Nadine will likely be watching the ultimate Traitors episode, hosted by Claudia Winkleman (pictured) together with her three daughters – regardless that they’re prone to discuss by means of the entire present

Ultimately, the BBC is to face more durable ­scrutiny from Ofcom because the media watchdog has its remit prolonged to cope with perceived bias within the Company’s on-line content material and on its social media

channels. What shouldn’t be clear is when this may come into impact and the way the BBC will likely be held accountable. I’ve complained ­ bitterly that the Licence Price Overview, to seek out new methods to fund the BBC, has been endlessly delayed.

An MP has now knowledgeable me that it was launched quietly on a busy information day final month. I checked the ­Authorities web site, and lo and behold, it was. Nevertheless, the professional panel for the overview has but to be appointed. Prosecutions for non-payment of the licence payment have now reached a determined 3,500 monthly — however, sadly, with a Basic Election solely months away, it appears as if the licence is right here to remain.

You possibly can’t transfer goalposts, Gary

MATCH Of The Day presenter Gary Lineker, who has a £1.3 million contract with the BBC, has complained to the Left-leaning Guardian newspaper that the response to his tweets has been poisonous.

Do your self a favour, Gary. Go away the BBC and transfer to a different broadcaster. Or hold the large wage, cease tweeting and stick with the Beeb. The selection is straightforward and it’s yours to make.

My late mother-in-law as soon as instructed me that you’ll know while you’ve entered previous age as a result of you’ll begin to discuss extra about your well being than you do about your holidays.

Having not too long ago spent the night time at my finest good friend’s home, I realised with horror on the drive residence that a lot of our dialog had centered on the advantages of cholesterol-lowering statins.

It’s official, previous people. I’ve arrived.

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