A senior Tory MP has waded into the controversy about burkinis by declaring that as a "hot-blooded male" he can appreciate a bikini-clad body, but there is something "attractive, alluring, even sensual" about concealment.
Sir Desmond Swayne, a former minister, said people should feel free to "show off as little or as much as they like", in response to a constituent's concern about the burkini row in France.
The New Forest West MP said that it was for the French authorities to sort out their own affairs, but "as a general rule, most of us look far better with all our clothes on".
In a blog post on his website, Sir Desmond wrote that he had received an "outraged email" from a constituent in Barton-on-Sea who was "disgusted" that the burkini ban had been overturned by a French court.
"Alas, the court is not accountable to me, and the French must sort out their own affairs. In any event, I am confident that no burkinis have been seen in Barton-on-Sea, or on any other beach in the New Forest parliamentary division.
"Am I disappointed? I have always taken the view that people should feel free to show off as little or as much as they like, when it comes to beachwear.
"Like any hot-blooded male however, I appreciate beauty, which can sometimes be enhanced by a bikini. Equally, often there can be something quite attractive, alluring, even sensual, about concealment. It leaves more to the imagination.
"Whilst there are of course exceptions, as a general rule, most of us look far better with all our clothes on."