Steven Swinford, Telegraph (London), August 27, 2014
A veteran Conservative MP has claimed that Enoch Powell was right to warn against immigration in his controversial “rivers of blood” speech.
Sir Gerald Howarth, a former defence minister, said that the Tory MP was correct in saying that the influx of immigrants of a “non-Christian” faith has presented a “challenge” to British society.
In a letter to a constituent, Sir Gerald said that the Trojan Horse plot in which extremists attempted to take over schools in Birmingham highlighted the problems.
He said: “Clearly, the arrival of so many people of a non-Christian faith has presented a challenge as so many of us, including the late Enoch Powell, warned decades ago.
“Recent events have illustrated that some of these new arrivals have a very different ethos from traditional Christian schools and we were right to intervene to prevent them from teaching divisive ideology to children born here.”
Sir Gerald said that he stood by the letter and said his views had been reinforced by the child sex abuse scandal in Rotherham, where gangs of Asian men groomed and abused children.
He said that it is time for England to “fight back” against political correctness, adding: “If you don’t like it, go live somewhere else.”
He added: “For 40 years we have been subjected to a left wing political correctness which has stopped the British people from expressing perfectly legitimate and reasonable views. More than 1,400 children in Rochdale have paid the price for decades of political correctness and now people are speaking up.”
Mr Powell delivered his ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech in Birmingham in April 1968, calling for the “repatriation” of non-white immigrants and claiming that the increased diversity would lead to riots. There is no suggestion that Sir Gerald advocated repatriation in his letter to a constituent.
Mr Powell was immediately sacked from the shadow cabinet after his comments by Edward Heath, the then Conservative leader.