Damian Green said such a move would be “rather un-British” and run contrary to the conventions of a “tolerant and mutually respectful society”.
He said it would be “undesirable” for Parliament to vote on a burka ban in Britain and that there was no prospect of the Coalition proposing it.
His comments will dismay the growing number of supporters of a ban. A YouGov survey last week found that 67 per cent of voters wanted the wearing of full-face veils to be made illegal.
Mr Green used a wide-ranging interview with The Sunday Telegraph, his first since taking up his post at the Home Office in May, to issue a “message around the world that Britain is no longer a soft touch on immigration”.
He said the summer would see a major crackdown on the main streams of illegal immigration — including sham marriages, illegal workers and people trafficking — and confirmed that this autumn the Government would set an overall cap on migrants entering Britain from outside the European Union.
His firm decision to rule out a burka ban will disappoint some Right-of-centre Tory MPs, including Philip Hollobone, who has tabled a private member’s bill that would make it illegal for anyone to cover their face in public.