Immigrants should learn English and “respect our way of life”, the new Culture Secretary has told the Sunday Telegraph. Sajid Javid says the British public has legitimate fears over “excessive” immigration and that the desire for Britain to have more control over who comes here is justified.
Javid, who is the son of Pakistani immigrants, says: “People want Britain to have more control over its borders, and I think they are right.”
He adds: “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.”
He criticises migrants who have lived in the UK “for over 50 years” and still cannot speak English.
Javid also defended Ukip leader Nigel Farage against allegations of racism. While agreeing that Ukip has “some candidates” with racist views, he adds: “I don’t think they are a racist party and I don’t think Nigel Farage is racist. I have met him and I don’t think that at all.”
His comments about Farage and Ukip echo those of Community Secretary Eric Pickles yesterday. Both men’s remarks will be seen as a bid from the Conservative leadership to woo potential Ukip voters by distancing the Tories from the growing anger directed at Farage.
An ICM poll for the Sunday Telegraph shows the Conservatives have overtaken Ukip in the running for the European elections and are now in second place. ·