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The EU should keep its interfering nose out of faith schools in the UK, said UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall.

His comments follow the disclosure that Christian schools in this country are under investigation by the European Commission for allegedly ‘discriminating’ against non-religious teachers.

“They are poking their nose where it is not wanted – again – and this time because the British Humanist Association, which should also butt out, raised a complaint.

The Commission is set to investigate whether the schools breach equality laws when expressing a preference for religious staff.

“This could potentially result in schools with a Christian ethos being forced to stop giving preference to religious staff when recruiting. This should be a matter for the schools and no one else,” said Mr Nuttall, the party’s Education spokesman.

Government guidance gives voluntary-aided faith schools, which are part-funded by religious organisations, the freedom to apply ‘religious criteria when recruiting or dismissing any member of their teaching staff’.

EU rules state that a school must be able to prove a ‘genuine occupational requirement’ in order to discriminate in favour of a religious candidate.

“This investigation will also include other faith schools including Muslim and Jewish ones and I feel just as strongly that they should not have the EU interfering in their decisions,” said  Mr Nuttall, MEP for the North West.

“The BHA is hell bent on secularising every aspect of this country’s life and in doing so show themselves to be completely intolerant of people’s religious views,” he added.

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