In­te­grate or face pop­ulist fury, Lon­don mayor warns

The Myanmar Times - - World -

LON­DON Mayor Sadiq Khan blamed a lack of in­te­gra­tion be­tween com­mu­ni­ties for fu­elling the “di­vi­sive po­lit­i­cal forces” that led to Brexit in Bri­tain and the rise of Don­ald Trump.

Speak­ing on the side­lines of a fo­rum in City Hall with may­ors from around the world, he urged lead­ers to take ac­tion or risk fur­ther back­lash.

“There are pop­ulist par­ties around the world tak­ing ad­van­tage of the con­cerns and anx­i­eties peo­ple le­git­i­mately have ... We [Bri­tain] chose to leave the Euro­pean Union and we’ve had a very di­vi­sive US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion,” said Mr Khan, the first Mus­lim mayor of a Western cap­i­tal, who was elected in May.

US Pres­i­dent-elect Trump and lead­ers of the Brexit cam­paign both fo­cussed on im­mi­gra­tion con­cerns in the run up to their shock vic­to­ries.

Mr Trump vowed to build a wall on the Mex­i­can bor­der and im­pose a mora­to­rium on Mus­lim im­mi­gra­tion into the US while Nigel Farage – called “Mr Brexit” by his ally Mr Trump – caused out­rage dur­ing the EU ref­er­en­dum cam­paign by un­veil­ing a poster show­ing a line of refugees un­der the words “break­ing point”.

A re­cent study by Ted Can­tle, an ex­pert on in­ter-cul­tural re­la­tions, found that some Bri­tish ci­ties were “tend­ing more to­wards ghet­toi­sa­tion ... as the mi­nor­ity pop­u­la­tion con­tin­ues to grow and the ma­jor­ity con­tin­ues to re­lo­cate”.

Mr Khan had pre­vi­ously re­jected Mr Trump’s claims that parts of Lon­don had be­come “no-go ar­eas” be­cause of ghet­toi­sa­tion and said that po­lit­i­cal lead­ers should be “build­ing bridges rather than walls”.

Photo: AFP

Sadiq Khan wants lead­ers to take ac­tion im­me­di­ately.

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