Pickles warns of non-English speaking ghettos
Immigrants who are unable to speak English could become ‘virtually unemployable’ and risk being ‘stuck in a ghetto’, the communities secretary has said.
Eric Pickles made the comments as he announced £10 million of funding to actively encourage the teaching of English.
Mr Pickles said: ‘In terms of wanting people, encouraging people, to be part of British society, they can’t do that unless they have more than an understanding of English.
‘If we don’t get our resident population with an understanding of English, then they become a sub-class that is virtually unemployable or are stuck in a ghetto. We should not be turning people out of our schools who aren’t able to speak English like a native.’
Mr Pickles was speaking to The House magazine where he said he wanted to achieve ‘real integration’ and for people to mix beyond their ethnic groups.
‘I think that is massively important,’ he said. ‘We have always been of the view that if the Muslim community of Britain, British Muslims, are seen as the enemy within, then the forces of extremism win.
‘It is certainly my view that we should be able to unite on the things we have in common, rather than constantly harp on the things that we have that are different.’