Javid admits MPs have failed to tackle segregation but ducks call to ban councils printing foreign leaflets

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has announced the Government will bring forward plans to tackle rising levels of social segregation in the spring as he warned that MPs have ducked the issue for too long for fear of being called racist.

Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid

Responding to this week’s highly critical review by Dame Louise Casey, Mr Javid acknowledged that too many communities in the UK are failing to integrate because they “refuse” to embrace British values.

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But he argued the onus is on MPs to address the problem, as he suggested they have been shying away from difficult debates.

“I have seen for myself the enormous contribution that immigrants and their families make to British life all without giving up their unique cultural identities,” Mr Javid said.

“But I have also seen with my own eyes the other side of the equation.

“For too long, too many people in this country have been living parallel lives, refusing to integrate and failing to embrace the shared values that make Britain great.

“And for too long... politicians in this country have refused to deal with the problem. They have ducked the issue for fear of being called a racist.”

Speaking in response to an urgent question from the Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts, the Secretary of State also emphasised the role that access to language skills plays in tackling segregation. He used the example of his own mother, for whom he interpreted as a child before she learned English, to demonstrate the “transformative” effect this can have on individuals’ lives and wider communities.

Mr Javid also spoke of the need to promote British values of tolerance and respect “in every sensible way that we can”.

But he appeared to ignore calls from the Shipley Conservative MP Philip Davies to force local authorities to stop printing public information documents in multiple languages.

The Secretary of State also refused to specify any details of the Government’s response to the review. But he said Ministers will consider its recommendations and return with plans “for tackling these issues “ in the spring.