19.12.2016

Communities Secretary calls for ‘British values oath’

The Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has said that civil servants and other holders of public office should swear an oath to British values.

He said that people couldn’t play a “positive role” in public life unless they were prepared to listen to views they didn’t agree with and accept basic values, such as democracy, equality and freedom of speech.

Mr Javid was responding to Dame Louise Casey’s government-commissioned review into integration and opportunity, which was published earlier this month.

Responding to Mr Javid’s comments, Jon Yates, Director of The Challenge, said:

“Sajid Javid is absolutely right – civic leaders and politicians need to lead by example and embody British values, such as listening to the views of others, a belief in equality, democracy and democratic process.

“An oath of this kind should apply equally to all ethnic groups, races and faiths. We all have a responsibility to build an integrated society – one in which we can forge friendships and deep social bonds with those different to ourselves.

“As Sajid Javid and Louise Casey have pointed out, our country has pockets of segregation. We need to urgently confront this. One crucial way of tackling growing segregation in our society is to create new institutions that enable us to come together, whatever our background. Just as the Victorians built the friendly societies, The Scouts, Guides and the Women’s Institute, we need institutions for our time that enable us to have meaningful contact with those different to us. One example of is the National Citizen Service, which brings together teenagers from different backgrounds.”