Ban Muslim ghettos, says Cameron


Source Daily Mail



David Cameron: Steering Tory immigration policy in a new direction

 David Cameron today vowed to break up Muslim ghettos in Britain's cities.

The Tory leader said Islamic schools should in future admit a quarter of their pupils from other faiths. And he said that housing estates should be planned to avoid creating isolated communities.


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 In the most frank comments on the issue by a major party leader, he used his keynote party conference speech to say Britain had made an error by allowing ghettos to develop. "It worries me that we have allowed communities to grow up which live 'parallel lives',î he said in an extract of today's speech obtained in advance by the Evening Standard.

"Communities where people from different backgrounds never meet, never talk, never go into each others' homes,î said the Tory leader.



 Mr Cameron's carefully balanced remarks were chosen to present a striking contrast with previous Tory approaches to immigration and community issues.

As he put social responsibility at the heart of his message to the party in Bournemouth, he was expected to mount a raid into Labour territory by declaring the NHS will be his top priority and will get continually rising spending if the Tories win power. Insiders said he would also declare his support for marriage while also committing himself to better child care for working single mothers.


 His package was devoid of expensive policy commitments, but Mr Cameron will attempt to answer critics who accuse him of lacking substance, saying real substance "is not about a 10-point plan - it is about deeper things than this". On the controversy over schools, Mr Cameron said he backed faith schools and supported Muslim parents who wanted the same for their children as everyone else. But he went on: "Now, a new generation of Muslim schools is emerging.

If these schools are to be British state schools, they must be part of our society, not separate from it. "So they must do more than provide a good education. They must turn out young men and women who have experience of life beyond their own community." He praised the Church of England for implementing a recommendation from the Cantle Report into the inner cities that said all faith schools should take some pupils from other backgrounds.

"This is a great example of what I mean by social responsibility," said Mr Cameron, adding: "I believe the time has come for other faith groups to show similar social responsibility." He said migrants should learn English because contact between people would overcome differences and "the most basic contact comes from talking to each other". Mr Cameron said that children should be taught "the core components of British identity - our history, our language, our institutions".

 He went on: "We need to have contact. In many of our towns and cities, we have allowed ghettoes to develop. "Whole neighbourhoods cut off from the rest of society. Immigrant families who only ever meet people with the same country of origin. We need to find ways to avoid this."

Mr Cameron's other main aim was to convince voters that the NHS is safe in Tory hands. In an emotional appeal for trust, he cited his own family's reliance on the NHS for their son, Ivan, who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy. "When your family relies on the NHS all the time - day after day, night after night - you know how precious it is," he said. Declaring it would be his greatest priority he added: "Tony Blair explained his priorities in three words; education, education, education. I can do it in three letters - NHS."  

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