Britain has 'failed to integrate minorities', says Casey review

Study attacks 'grossly insufficient' government efforts to end cultural divisions as 'saris, samosas and steel drums'

(Image credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Successive governments' efforts to integrate ethnic and religious minorities in the UK have been deemed "grossly insufficient to cope with the scale of the challenge", according to a review headed by a former Home Office official.

Dame Louise Casey's report, which consisted of a year-long study of community integration across the country, said official attempts to merge communities were "well meaning", but the "unprecedented pace and scale of immigration" meant they had fallen short.

Previous governments were sharply criticised for their inadequate integration programmes, dating back to Tony Blair's premiership.

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"Events and projects that have been described to us as 'saris, samosas and steel drums' can help bring people together but too often attract the already well-intentioned", said Casey.

Such programmes "do not succeed in tackling difficult issues such as women's inequality, miss the hardest to reach and fail to focus on the real socio-economic gaps that exist between different groups", she added.

The study, which was commissioned by David Cameron when he was prime minister and Theresa May when she was home secretary, "is likely to trigger controversy", says The Guardian.

Casey said there was a "vicious cycle" in which Muslims felt they were being blamed for extremism and terrorism, leading to further hostility and greater segregation.

However, the report also claims some ethnic minorities have failed to address and rectify "deeply regressive religious and cultural practices, especially when it comes to women".

Casey said she met "far too many women who are suffering from the effects of misogyny and domestic abuse, women being subjugated by their husbands and extended families", adding: "They don't know about their rights, or how to access support, and struggle to prepare their children effectively for school."

Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretary, said: "This government is building a democracy for everyone and our country has long been home to lots of different cultures and communities, but all of us have to be part of one society – British society."

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