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Clegg defends multiculturalism; britain ROUND-UP.

DEPUTY PM Nick Clegg yesterday mounted a strong defence of multiculturalism, just weeks after David Cameron attacked the concept, calling for a stronger assertion of British national identity.

In a keynote speech in Luton, the Liberal Democrat leader said that he believed that multiculturalism should be the hallmark of "an open, confident, society".

His comments were in sharp contrast to those of the Prime Minister, who warned last month that a "doctrine of state multiculturalism" had encouraged different cultures to lead separate lives.

Mr Clegg said that it should be possible in a liberal society to welcome diversity while continuing to resist segregation between different groups.

"For me, multiculturalism has to be seen as a process by which people respect and communicate with each other, rather than build walls between each other. Welcoming diversity but resisting division: that's the kind of multiculturalism of an open, confident society," he said.

While Mr Cameron had called for ministers to refuse to share platforms with Muslim groups which accepted Government money but did little to tackle extremism, Mr Clegg said that it was important to continue to engage.

"You don't win a fight by leaving the ring. You get in and win," he said.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 4, 2011
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