Immigrants coming to the UK should try to learn English as part of making contributions to British society and respecting “our way of life”, the highest ranking Asian Tory MP Sajid Javid has said.
Mr Javid, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Minister for Equalities, told the Telegraph that people “are right” to want Britain to have more control over its borders, and that fears over “excessive” immigration are justified.
The son of two Pakistani immigrants said that people who come to the UK should make a contribution to Britain, which includes making an effort to learn English.
“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 said, adding that it is “not good enough” for migrants who have lived in the UK for 50 years to not be able to speak English after all that time.
Mr Javid, the first male Asian MP in the Cabinet, said that the “vast majority” of immigrants want to integrate with society, but that “it’s perfectly reasonable for British people to say, look, if you’re going to settle in Britain and make it your home, you should learn the language of the country and you should respect its laws and its culture”.
The Tory MP for Bromsgrove, who was previously a senior managing director at Deutsche Bank reportedly earning millions before running for parliament, was jettisoned to the position of Culture Minister in April this year as part of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet reshuffle after Maria Miller stepped down.
His strong comments on migration come days ahead of the European elections, in which Ukip is expected to make a landmark win, according to a poll in today’s Independent on Sunday.
The Conservatives have already slipped down by two points to 20 per cent, putting the party in third place, behind UKIP and Labour.
Today’s ComRes poll puts Ukip at its highest lead in the European elections survey at 35 per cent, while Labour is at second place with 24 per cent, and the Conservatives a further four points behind its rival at 20 per cent.