UK & World News
PM Urges UK To Stand Up For 'British Values'
David Cameron has said a "worrying" failure to support British values has led to increasing division and extremism in the UK.
He said Britain should become "more muscular" in promoting national values and urged people to stop being "squeamish" about doing so.
His comments come as the head of Ofsted has agreed to meet a group of parents caught up in the so-called "Trojan Horse" inquiry into Muslim schools in Birmingham.
In the wake of the controversy over Islamist influence on some schools, teachers were told by Education Secretary Michael Gove that they must in future "actively promote British values".
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Mr Cameron said the British values were "as British as the Union Flag, as football, as fish and chips" and it was "not an option" for anyone living in this country not to live by them.
He also suggested that any move away from the "Western model" of democracy and free enterprise would threaten Britain's economic success.
With concerns high over more young Britons joining radical jihadists fighting in Syria and Iraq, he accepted that too much latitude had been allowed to opponents of democracy, equality and tolerance.
"In recent years we have been in danger of sending out a worrying message: that if you don't want to believe in democracy, that's fine; that if equality isn't your bag, don't worry about it; that if you're completely intolerant of others, we will still tolerate you.
"This has not just led to division, it has also allowed extremism - of both the violent and non-violent kind - to flourish," he said in the article.
"We need to be far more muscular in promoting British values and the institutions that uphold them.
"A genuinely liberal country believes in certain values, actively promotes them and says to its citizens: this is what defines us as a society."
Celebrations are planned next year to mark 800 years since King John signed the Magna Carta at Runnymede which established for the first time that the king was subject to the law.
Mr Cameron said schools will now include lessons for all pupils.
A poll by Opinium for the Observer showed that 58% of voters believe faith schools should not receive taxpayer funding, or be closed altogether.
It found three quarters are concerned there is a serious risk pupils could be encouraged to adopt extremist views in predominantly Muslim schools.
Most, 56%, also thought all faith schools should not be allowed to teach only their own religion.
None of those which faced inspections over the "Trojan Horse" allegations were faith schools but shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt has said he would like cross-party talks on the issue.