The Leader of the Labour Party chose Tooting as the place to set out Labour’s plans to create a diverse and integrated one nation.
Ahead of the speech Ed Miliband and Sadiq visted South Thames College to meet students learning English at the college. They discussed with the students how important learning English was to them, in terms of enabling them to help their children with their homework, to find work and to gain the confidence to become active members of British society.
The speech and subsequent question and answer session was held at Samaj Hall on Friday 14th December. Students from local sixth forms and South Thames College, religious leaders, community groups, members of BATCA (Balham and Tooting Community Association) and British Future and Uprising all attended to hear what was an inspirational speech.
Ed spoke about prioritising teaching English above the translation of non essential materials, tackling rogue landlords who allow overcrowding in their properties and preventing employers advertising jobs to particular ethnicities. Ed highlighted how fantastic our diversity is, and the valuable contribution those who come to Britain make, but also stated that the Government needs to do more to help and encourage integration.
Sadiq Khan MP said:
“I was extremely proud to welcome Ed to Tooting today. We gave him a real Tooting welcome with people of all different ages, ethnicities and religions there to listen to the speech and to ask some really good and thought provoking questions.
“Ed is right, we need to do more to make sure everyone in Britain knows how to speak English. Those who do not speak English are less able to get a good job and less able to make the most of living in Britain.
“And it is also important that we celebrate our diversity in Britain and here in Tooting, especially following the success of the Olympics and the Paralympics”.
You can read Ed Miliband’s speech here.