Parliamentary Blog

Oral Contributions: 3rd July, 2019

In Bradford, there are 25,000 people who cannot speak English or do not speak it well. In Keighley, the figure is just under 3,000. Together with Bradford Council, I hosted a conference on integration in line with the Government’s strategy earlier in the year. One of the top targets that we agreed on was to try to get that figure down in the next five years. We will never get it down to zero, but we will try to get everyone in Keighley speaking English, because it is a liberating and progressive thing to be able to speak English in our society.

We have heard the arguments about employability and loneliness and so on. Let me add one more that comes up, which I find works in the discussions I have with different communities: it is really up there if parents can to speak English. How can anyone possibly guide their children in towns such as Keighley, where many good things but also one or two bad things go on from time to time, and how can anyone make judgments about their children’s friends and the activities they take part in, without speaking English? ...