Angry beekeepers have served up the public’s favourite election story at UKIP’s expense

Support us and go ad-free

PR disaster Paul Nuttall, UKIP’s current leader, has been accosted by one aggrieved group – the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) – after UKIP announced its ban on face coverings. The group was concerned that the ban would apply to the face coverings that beekeepers need to wear.

Ban on face-coverings

UKIP announced the proposal as part of its integration policy platform. It also included:

  • A ban on sharia courts.
  • Mandatory medical checks for school girls from high-risk groups of female genital mutilation (FGM).
  • A moratorium on new Islamic faith schools.
  • That law enforcement should consider ethnicity and religion in ‘grooming’ offences as well as ‘honour’ dimensions to crimes as aggravating factors. That means they should consider those crimes more serious, and use greater penalties.

The set of policies has unsettled other politicians.

Caroline Lucas said:

UKIP’s ‘integration agenda’ is an assault on multiculturalism and an attack on Muslims. It’s full-throttled Islamophobia.

And former Home Secretary and International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone said:

Research shows that school teachers are still too scared to talk about FGM, honour-based violence and forced marriage, let alone report it. This is where we should concentrate our efforts, not forcing girls to undergo invasive medical examinations.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

It has also caused UKIP’s foreign affairs spokesperson to quit, saying the veil ban was a “misguided policy”.

First they came for the beekeepers…

The BBKA has raised the impracticalities of this ban. The group’s Public Affairs Director, Martin Smith, said there would be times beekeepers have to wear their veils in public places. He said:

We would need a clear exemption to allow us to continue to perform this valuable public service.

Questioned over whether the ban would affect beekeepers at the launch of UKIP’s election campaign, culture spokesperson and deputy leader Paul Whittle branded the question “ridiculous”.

It set twitter a-buzzing:

https://twitter.com/PhilippaDavey/status/856839063730618368

Now UKIP has clarified that the ban won’t apply to beekeepers, there is a case to answer on whether their policy is a full-on fight against Muslims alone. The party has said, for instance, that the ban on religious courts shouldn’t apply to Jewish courts. And it’s not proposing a moratorium on any other faith school.

There is also no evidence for other claims they make. Such as implying ‘grooming’ is an Asian and Muslim problem, in order to exploit the widespread sexual abuse in Rotherham for political gain.

But the beekeepers have given us some perspective on the issue at least. And among Nuttall’s recent embarrassments, it’s possibly the most amusing story of the election so far.

Get Involved!

Register to vote in the 8 June general election. If you don’t have a national insurance number, a 5 minute phone call on 0300 200 3500 will get it sent to you in ten days.

– Discuss the key policy issues with family members, colleagues and neighbours. And organise! Join (and participate in the activities of) a union, an activist group, and/or a political party.

– Also read more Canary articles on the 2017 general election.

Featured image via Flickr

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed