Immigrants who want UK citizenship face new 'British values' test, Sajid Javid reveals

Posted On: 
3rd October 2018

Immigrants who want to become British citizens will be made to sit a new "values" test under plans announced by Sajid Javid.

The Home Secretary made the announcement during his speech to the Conservatives' annual conference
Credit: 
PA Images

Theresa May says Conservatives must be 'moderate' party to defeat Jeremy Corbyn

Tory MP slammed over bizarre tweet about sibling marriage after civil partnership rule change

Theresa May accuses Boris Johnson of planning to 'tear up' union between UK and Northern Ireland

ANALYSIS: Boris Johnson can warm a room with Brexit hot air - and Theresa May should take note

The Home Secretary said the exams would ensure would-be settlers understand the “liberal, democratic values that bind our society together".

Speaking to delegates at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham, Mr Javid said the new tests would be significantly tougher than the current ‘Life in the UK’ exam - which he compared to a "pub quiz".

He told delegates: “Maybe it is helpful for people to know the name of the sixth wife of Henry VIII but, far more important to me, is that they also understand the liberal, democratic values that bind our society together.

“Citizenship should mean more than being able to win a pub quiz. We need to make it a British values test - and that’s exactly what I will bring in.”

He added: “It might not always feel like it, but our mainstream cultural values unite us all.

“We are - and will continue to be - the home of the rule of law, of civil liberties, of firm but fair immigration rules, of racial equality, of respect for every citizen.”

The new plans would also see a beefed up English language requirement for those looking to settle in the UK.

“When I was the Communities Secretary, we found that over 700,000 people in the UK cannot even speak a basic level of English,” Mr Javid said.

“How can we possibly make a common home together if we can’t even communicate with each other?

“So not only will there be a new values test, but we will also strengthen the English Language requirements for all new citizens.”

But Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott savaged the plans, saying it was wrong for the Conservatives to be defining British values.

She said: “It’s not clear this is any improvement on Theresa May’s derided ‘British values’ test in 2015, or even Norman Tebbit’s earlier cricket test.

“The idea that a government whose hostile environment policy and handling of the Windrush scandal has brought shame to the country, should be defining British values is deeply worrying.”