Integrate or face populist fury, London mayor warns
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”.
Sadiq Khan wants leaders to take action immediately.