UK & World News

  • 18 May 2014, 14:12

'Migrants Must Learn English', Asian Minister

Immigrants must learn to speak English and respect Britain's laws and culture, the new CultureSecretary, Sajid Javid, has said.

Mr Javid, the son of Pakistani immigrants and the first Asian Secretary of State, said that people were entitled to expect that immigrants made a contribution to society.

"People want Britain to have more control over its borders, and I think they are right," he told The Sunday Telegraph.

"People also say, when immigrants do come to Britain, that they should come to work, and make a contribution and that they should also respect our way of life, and I agree with all of that. It means things like trying to learn English."

His comments come at a time when the Tories are under pressure from UKIP over the issue of immigration ahead of Thursday's European elections.

Mr Javid suggested that immigrants already well-established in the UK also needed to take greater responsibility for integrating with the rest of society.

"I know people myself, I have met people who have been in Britain for over 50 years and they still can't speak English," he said.

"I think it's perfectly reasonable for British people to say, look, if you're going to settle in Britain and make it your home, you should learn the language of the country and you should respect its laws and its culture."

A self-confessed Thatcherite, Mr Javid, MP for Bromsgrove, was appointed Culture minister during a reshuffle by David Cameron in April.

The son of a bus driver, who left Pakistan for Rochdale, had been a senior managing director at Deutsche Bank in charge of trading operations in Asia until 2009, where he had been earning an estimated 3m a year.

Mr Javid is tipped as a Tory leader of the future and has said he sees his Muslim faith as no barrier to one day taking the top slot.

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