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  1. Gareth Owen

Liberal Democrat leader contenders in the Midlands

With the Liberal Democrats wiped out across the Central region in the General Election, there's a mountain to climb for the party to put itself back into the political landscape.

With the resignation of Nick Clegg, it left the party leaderless, but now the two contenders to replace him are trying to drum up support across the Midlands and put the Liberal Democrats back in the spotlight.

Gareth Owen has been to a recent hustings event in Stratford to speak to the two men who think they've got what it takes to lead the Lib Dems.


Lib Dem candidate says East Midland MP's are 'up for the fight'

A Liberal Democrat candidate for Ashfield and Eastwood, Jason Zadrozny, has told ITV News Central that East Midland MP's are not 'battle weary but up for the fight' at the next general election.

At the annual Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow, candidates from the East Midlands have been told they face the fight of their lives to secure parliamentary seats.

Clegg: full veil not 'appropriate' in classrooms

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said that in certain circumstance wearing a full veil is not 'appropriate':

"This is a free country and people going about their own business should be free to wear what they wish.

"I think there are exceptions to that as far as the full ceil is concerned - security at airports for instance... and I think in the classroom, there is an issue of course about teachers being able to address their students in a way where they can address them face-to-face.

Home Office Minister Jeremy Browne has called for a debate on banning Muslim girls wearing veils in schools and other public places Credit: John Giles/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The comments came in response to a Liberal Democrat minister who called for a national debate on whether the state should seek to ban Muslim girls and young women from wearing the veil in public places.

The Home Office Minister Jeremy Browne made his comments in a Daily Telegraph interview following the decision of Birmingham Metropolitan College to drop their ban on veils following public protest.

Mr Browne said: "I am instinctively uneasy about restricting the freedom of individuals to observe the religion of their choice.

But there is genuine debate about whether girls should feel a compulsion to wear a veil when society deems children to be unable to express personal choices about other areas like buying alcohol, smoking or getting married.

Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, said he was "disgusted" by Mr Browne's calls to consider banning Muslim girls and young women from wearing the veil in public places.

"This is another example of the double standards that are applied to Muslims in our country by some politicians," he said.

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