Prime Minister Tony Abbott has stood by his comments that the burqa is a “confronting” item of clothing that he wished people would not wear.
Responding to questions from journalists at parliament, Mr Abbott repeated the comments which have been labelled as ‘divisive’ and ‘dumb’ by fellow politicians.
“I wish that people chose not to wear it, but as I’ve gone on to say on ever single occasion… in a democracy such as ours, in a free and pluralist democracy such as ours, it’s not the position of the government to tell people what to wear,” Mr Abbott said in Canberra today.
The comments come following a move by Speaker Bronwyn Bishop to ban women who cover their faces from sitting in parliament’s main galleries.
Mr Abbott has called for Ms Bishop to back down on the plans, saying parliament was the “people’s house” and calling for it to be treated as such.