Ed Miliband launches vision for cultural diversity in Tooting
Ed Miliband was in Tooting this morning to convey his vision for cultural diversity in Britain.
Schoolchildren, church leaders and politicians took part in a Q&A session with the Labour party leader at the Samaj Patidar Hall, in Tooting High Street today (December 14).
In his speech Mr Miliband used Tooting to exemplify his One Nation vision for the rest of the UK and praised community group the Balham and Tooting Community Association (BATCA) for bringing together different parts of the community.
He said: "It is somewhere where people of all different backgrounds, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and those of no faith, live and work together.
"A place where people don't just tolerate each other, but build friendships, families and businesses across communities.
"That's the kind of country we want to build, and that's why I have come to Tooting today."
Mr Miliband suggested that learning to speak English was key for social integration.
He said: "Many people being paid the lowest wages do a fantastic job working as care workers.
"But older people of different backgrounds often say that the limited English skills of some care workers present them with difficulties."
He admitted the previous Labour government made "mistakes" over immigration, with lessons to be learned from Eastern Europe migration.
Mr Miliband, whose own parents were Jewish immigrants, said: "We are one of the few countries in Europe without a comprehensive strategy for integration, we must put that right.
"And politicians must be able and willing to talk about these issues."
Members of the public quizzed him on the extradition of two terrorist suspects from Tooting, while Burntwood School teacher Cath Brookes wanted to see Religious Education in the proposed English baccalaureate.
The keynote speech comes following census results which revealed one in three Londoners were born overseas.