A TATTOO shop worker has launched a campaign to counter discrimination against people who display their tattoos after being refused entry to a nightclub.

Miki Lane, of Thirsk, said she and her partner, Jason Barker, a personal trainer, had been stunned to be turned away by door staff at Club Amadeus, in Northallerton, last Saturday, after being told their they could not have their tattoos on show.

Miss Lane, who was wearing a sleeveless dress, said they offered to cover up the artistic designs on their arms by wearing their jackets, only to be told that the club's dress code also stipulates that such garments must be left in the cloakroom.

She said: "We had never experienced this discrimination anywhere previously and I had been in to Club Amadeus before and had my tattoos in show and there had never been a problem.

"We were smartly dressed and all we wanted to do was have a dance and a bit of fun.

"There is not one offensive tattoo on either of us, they are artistic."

After paying £30 taxi fares to and from the club, Miss Lane, who has 23 tattoos, has launched a drive to dispel concerns about the indelible ink designs by creating a Tattoo Defence League page on Facebook.

Her social media campaign came as multinational firm Starbucks announced a shift in its tattoo policy.

The coffee chain's employees have been told they can openly display their tattoos at work, as long as the tattoos are tasteful and not on a worker's face or throat.

Earlier this month, the Army said it was lifting its ban on hand and neck tattoos in a bid to draw in more recruits.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "Tattoos have become more acceptable in society over the last decade and, in recent years, there has been an increasing number of personnel with tattoos on visible areas."

Miss Lane added: "When people see my tattoos the reaction is that they are interested in them.

"One in five people have tattoos, it's getting more socially acceptable, so it's wrong to stereotype people who have them as thugs."

The club is owned by Northallerton businessman George Crow, who was unavailable for comment.

An employee confirmed the club's policy that tattoos cannot be on show in the venue.

He added: "I believe it is the owner's preference."