A Conservative MP has said that Enoch Powell was right to warn that “non-Christian” immigration would cause social problems. In a letter to a constituent, Sir Gerald Howarth said that the recent Trojan Horse scandal showed that some of these immigrants have a different “ethos” to Christian schools, and that the government is right to intervene to stop them teaching their ideology to British students.
Earlier this year, 21 schools in Birmingham were investigated over an alleged takeover by Islamist extremists. Subsequent reports found that a small group of individuals had tried to impose a strict interpretation of Islam on the officially secular schools.
In his letter, which was seen by Political Scrapbook, Sir Gerald writes:
“Clearly, the arrival of so many people of 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 are right to intervene to prevent them from teaching divisive ideology to children born here.”
Enoch Powell was a Conservative MP who in 1968 caused considerable controversy after giving a speech in which he warned that high levels of immigration could cause social tensions, with the potential for violence.
His speech was nicknamed “Rivers of Blood” after he concluded by saying: “As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see ‘the River Tiber foaming with much blood.'”
Powell was also known for his strong libertarian views, resigning from Harold Macmillan’s Conservative government over plans to increase public spending. His economic views are said to have inspired Margaret Thatcher.
Sir Gerald Howarth, who serves as MP for Aldershot, is chairman of pressure group Conservative Way Forward who seek to promote the legacy of Margaret Thatcher within the Conservative Party.
A member of his staff told Political Scrapbook that he “stands by every word” of his letter.