BAN MUSLIM GHETTOS; Tory Leader Pledges to End Britain's 'Parallel Communities'

The Evening Standard (London, England), October 4, 2006 | Go to article overview

BAN MUSLIM GHETTOS; Tory Leader Pledges to End Britain's 'Parallel Communities'


Byline: JOE MURPHY

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.

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'," 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," 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. …

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BAN MUSLIM GHETTOS; Tory Leader Pledges to End Britain's 'Parallel Communities'
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