British Multiculturalism During the Cameron and May Majority Governments (2010–2017): Retreat, Survival and the Effects of Policy Design

  • Arjun Tremblay
Part of the Palgrave Politics of Identity and Citizenship Series book series ( CAL)


This chapter takes the second step in developing the book’s hypothesis. It examines the British case and highlights multicultural policy developments that took place under a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government (2010–2015) and the subsequent majority Conservative government (2015–2017), which was headed first by Prime Minister David Cameron and then by Prime Minister Theresa May. The chapter draws the conclusion that it was the design of British multicultural policies that determined their fate under these governments. More generally, evidence from the British case suggests that minority rights may be more likely to survive under a majority (i.e. minimum winning coalition) government of the political right if they are written into formal rules, temporally “closed” and thus immune to the vagaries of political competition, and/or if they are under the control of multiple stakeholders.


  1. Ali, Amir. 2016. South Asian Islam and British Multiculturalism. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Back, Les, Michael J. Keith, Azra Khan, Kalbir Shukra, and John Solomos. 2002. The Return of Assimilationism: Race, Multiculturalism and New Labour. Sociological Research Online 7 (2): 1–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. BBC Executive Board. 2016. Work Plan and Statements of Programme Policy 2015/16.Google Scholar
  4. BBC News Online. 1998. Overwhelming Vote for Mayor. May 8. Accessed July 25, 2016.
  5. BBC News Online. 1999. CV: Ken ‘Red Ken’ Livingstone. November 17. Accessed July 25, 2016.
  6. BBC News Online. 2000. No to Rethink on British Identity. October 11. Accessed July 25, 2016.
  7. BBC News Online. 2001. UK Race Attack Sparks Clashes in Burnley. June 24. Accessed July 28, 2016.
  8. BBC News Online. 2005. Blair Secures Historic Third Term. Friday, May 6. Accessed July 25, 2016.
  9. BBC News Online. 2007a. Schools ‘Must Teach Britishness’. January 25. Accessed July 25, 2016.
  10. BBC News Online. 2007b. Blair’s Resignation Speech in Full. May 10. Accessed July 25, 2016.
  11. BBC News Online. 2007c. Last Bradford Rioter Sentenced. December 21. Accessed July 28, 2016.
  12. BBC News Online. 2012. Cameron ‘Calls Time’ on Labour’s Equality Impact Assessments. BBC News, November 19. Accessed July 25, 2016.
  13. BBC News Online. 2014a. How Will Government Shut Out the Trojan Horse? BBC News, June 10. Accessed July 25, 2016.
  14. BBC News Online. 2014b. Trojan Horse: 25 Schools Probed over Alleged Takeover Plot. BBC News, April 14. Accessed July 25, 2016.
  15. BBC Trust. 2006. BBC Statements of Programme Policy 2006/2007. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  16. BBC Trust. 2008. BBC Statements of Programme Policy 2008/2009. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  17. BBC Trust. 2010. BBC Statements of Programme Policy 2010/2011. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  18. BBC Trust. 2012. Annual Report and Accounts 2011–2012. Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  19. BBC Trust. 2013. Annual Report and Accounts 2012–2013. Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  20. BBC Trust. 2016. Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2016–2020: Diversity Includes Everyone. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  21. Beck, John. 2018. School Britannia? Rhetorical and Educational Uses of “British Values”. London Review of Education 16 (2): 228–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Border and Immigration Office. 2008. The Path to Citizenship: Next Steps in Reforming the Immigration System. London: Home Office; Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  23. Briefing Paper 06591. December 15, 2017. The Public Sector Equality Duty and Equality Impact Assessments. House of Commons Library, UK.Google Scholar
  24. Briggs, Asa. 1995. The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Volume 5: Competition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Brighton, Shane. 2007. British Muslims, Multiculturalism and UK Foreign Policy: ‘Integration’ and ‘Cohesion’ in and Beyond the State. International Affairs 83: 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Broadcasting Act 1981. An Act to Consolidate the Independent Broadcasting Authority Acts 1973, 1974 and 1978 and the Broadcasting Act 1980. 1981 c. 68.Google Scholar
  27. Cameron, David. 2011. Full Transcript David Cameron Speech on Radicalisation and Islamic Extremism Munich. The New Statesman, February 5. Accessed July 25, 2016.
  28. Cameron, David. 2015. The Conservatives Have Become the Party of Equality. The Guardian, “Social Mobility: Opinion”, October 25. Accessed July 25, 2016.
  29. Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, s 27, Part I of the Constitution Act, 1982, Being Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982 (UK), 1982, c. 11.Google Scholar
  30. Cantle, Ted. 2001. The Cantle Report—Community Cohesion: A Report of the Independent Review Team. London: Home Office.Google Scholar
  31. Cantle, Ted. 2005. Community Cohesion: A New Framework for Race and Diversity. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  32. Chrisafis, Angelique, and Sophie Lomax. 2001. Fires Fuel Racial Tension in Burnley: Shops and Cars Burn as Violence Flares for Second Successive Night in Another Town Near Oldham. The Guardian, June 25.Google Scholar
  33. City of London. 2010. Request for Mayoral Decision—MD 589 2010. Greater London Authority.Google Scholar
  34. Clarke, Peter. 2014. Report into Allegations Concerning Birmingham Schools Arising from the ‘Trojan Horse’ Letter. Williams Lea Group on Behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.Google Scholar
  35. Clarke, Rachel. 2016. The Junior Doctors’ Contract Officially Penalises Women—How Can David Cameron Say He Believes in Equality? The Independent, April 1. Accessed August 10, 2018.
  36. Cole, Elaine, and Paul Peachey. 2001. Rival Gangs Clash as Burnley Hit by New Violence. The Independent, June 25.Google Scholar
  37. Conservative Party. 2015. The Conservative Party (Great Britain) Manifesto 2015: Strong Leadership, a Clear Economic Plan, a Brighter, More Secure Future. London: Conservative Party.Google Scholar
  38. Cottle, Simon, and Patrick Ismond. 1998. Television and Ethnic Minorities: Producers’ Perspectives: A Study of BBC In-House, Independent, and Cable TV Producers. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  39. Crawford, Claire E. 2017. Promoting ‘Fundamental British Values’ in Schools: A Critical Race Perspective. Curriculum Perspectives 37 (2): 197–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Crimes and Disorder Act 1998. An Act to make provision for preventing crime and disorder; to create certain racially-aggravated offences; to abolish the rebuttable presumption that a child is doli incapax and to make provision as to the effect of a child’s failure to give evidence at his trial; to abolish the death penalty for treason and piracy; to make changes to the criminal justice system; to make further provision for dealing with offenders; to make further provision with respect to remands and committals for trial and the release and recall of prisoners; to amend Chapter I of Part II of the Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 and to repeal Chapter I of Part III of the Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Act 1997; to make amendments designed to facilitate, or otherwise desirable in connection with, the consolidation of certain enactments; and for connected purposes. 1998 c. 37.Google Scholar
  41. Denham, Jon. 2001. The Denham Report—Building Cohesive Communities: A Report of the Ministerial Group on Public Order and Community Cohesion. London: Home Office.Google Scholar
  42. Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). 2003. Review of the BBC’s Royal Charter. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  43. Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). 2005. A Strong BBC, Independent of Government. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  44. Department for Education and Employment (DEE). 1997. Excellence in Schools. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  45. Department of Education and Science (DES). 1985. Education for All: Report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Education of Children from Ethnic Minority Groups (The Swann Report). London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  46. Department for Education and Skill (DFES). 2007. Curriculum Review: Diversity and Citizenship (Ajegbo Report). London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  47. Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR). 1998. A Mayor and Assembly for London. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  48. Department for Trade and Industry (DTI). 2004. Fairness for All: A New Commission for Equality and Human Rights. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  49. Dodd, Vikram. 2003. Bradford Riot Sentences ‘Too Harsh’. The Guardian, January 30. Accessed July 28, 2016.
  50. Equality Act. 2010. An Act to make provision to require Ministers of the Crown and others when making strategic decisions about the exercise of their functions to have regard to the desirability of reducing socio-economic inequalities; to reform and harmonise equality law and restate the greater part of the enactments relating to discrimination and harassment related to certain personal characteristics; to enable certain employers to be required to publish information about the differences in pay between male and female employees; to prohibit victimisation in certain circumstances; to require the exercise of certain functions to be with regard to the need to eliminate discrimination and other prohibited conduct; to enable duties to be imposed in relation to the exercise of public procurement functions; to increase equality of opportunity; to amend the law relating to rights and responsibilities in family relationships; and for connected purposes. 2010 c. 15Google Scholar
  51. Espinoza, Javier. 2016. Teaching Children Fundamental British Values Is Act of ‘Cultural Supremacism’. The Guardian, March 28. Accessed July 25, 2016.
  52. Fisher, Lucy. 2014. Gove Urges Schools to Teach British Values. But What Are They? The New Statesman, June 10. Accessed July 25, 2016.
  53. Ford, Robert, and Matthew Goodwin. 2017. A Nation Divided. Journal of Democracy 28 (1): 17–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Gadher, Dipesh. 2001. Police Clash with Race Marchers. Sunday Times, May 6.Google Scholar
  55. Glover, Kate. 2015. Complexity and the Amending Formula. Constitutional Forum 24 (2): 9–16.Google Scholar
  56. Government of Scotland. 2017. The Socio-Economic Duty—A Consultation. The Scottish Government.Google Scholar
  57. Hickman, Mary J., Helen Crowley, and Nick Mai. 2012. Migration and Social Cohesion in the UK. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Ho, Christina. 2013. From Social Justice to Social Cohesion: A History of AustralianMulticultural Policy. In For Those Who’ve Come Across the Seas: Australian Multicultural Theory, Policy and Practice, ed. Ho, Christina, and Andrew Jakubowicz, 31–41. North Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing.Google Scholar
  59. Home Office. 1999. Report of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (The Macpherson Report). London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  60. Johnson, Boris. 2010. Cultural Metropolis: The Mayor’s Draft Cultural Strategy 2012 and Beyond. London: Greater London Authority.Google Scholar
  61. Joppke, Christian. 2014. The Retreat Is Real—But What Is the Alternative? Multiculturalism, Muscular Liberalism, and Islam. Constellations 21 (2): 286–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Khan, Sadiq. 2016. A Manifesto for All Londoners: Making the Most of Arts, Culture and Creativity. Accessed July 25, 2016.
  63. Khan, Sadiq. 2018. Culture for All Londoners Mayor of London’s Draft Culture Strategy. London: Greater London Authority.Google Scholar
  64. Kostakopoulou, Theodora. 2010. Matters of Control: Integration Tests, Naturalisation Reform and Probationary Citizenship in the United Kingdom. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 36 (5): 829–846.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Kundnani, Arun. 2007. Integrationism: The Politics of Anti-Muslim Racism. Race and Class 48 (2): 24–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Kymlicka, Will. 2010. The Current State of Multiculturalism in Canada and Research Themes on Canadian Multiculturalism 2008–2010. Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada.Google Scholar
  67. Livingstone, Ken. 2004. London, Cultural Capital: Realising the Potential of a World-Class City. London: Greater London Authority.Google Scholar
  68. Malik, Sarita. 2002. Representing Black Britain: Black and Asian Images on Television. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  69. May, Theresa. 2010. Theresa May’s Equality Strategy Speech. November 17.Google Scholar
  70. May, Theresa. 2015. A Stronger Britain, Built On Our Values Speech. March 23.Google Scholar
  71. May, Theresa. 2017. The Government’s Negotiating Objectives for Exiting the EU: PM Speech, January 17.Google Scholar
  72. McGhee, Derek, and Shaoying Zhang. 2017. Nurturing Resilient Future Citizens Through Value Consistency vs. the Retreat from Multiculturalism and Securitisation in the Promotion of British Values in Schools in the UK. Citizenship Studies 21 (8): 937–950.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. McQuillan, Rebecca. 2001. Blunkett’s Tough Warning on Riots. The Herald, July 11.Google Scholar
  74. Meer, Nasar, and Tariq Modood. 2009. The Multicultural State We’re In: Muslims, ‘Multiculture’ and the ‘Civic Re-Balancing’ of British Multiculturalism. Political Studies 57 (3): 473–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Oldham Independent Review Panel, David Ritchie, Chair. 2001. One Oldham, One Future—The Ritchie Report. Institute of Community Cohesion: Futures Institute.Google Scholar
  76. Olsen, Johan P. 2009. Change and Continuity: An Institutional Approach to Institutions of Democratic Government. European Political Science Review 1 (1): 3–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Osler, Audrey. 2008. Citizenship Education and the Ajegbo Report: Re-imagining a Cosmopolitan Nation. London Review of Education 6 (1): 11–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA). 1998. Education for Citizenship and the Teaching of Democracy in Schools: Final Report of the Advisory Group on Citizenship, 22 September (Crick Report). London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  79. The Race Relations Act. 1976.Google Scholar
  80. Ross, Tim. 2016. David Cameron: ‘Black People More Likely to Be in Prison Than at a Top University’. The Telegraph, January 31. Accessed July 25, 2016.
  81. Runnymede Trust. 2010. Commission on the Future of a Multi-Ethnic Britain (The Parekh Report). London: Profile Books Limited.Google Scholar
  82. Sparrow, Andrew, and Richard Adams. 2014. ‘Trojan Horse’ Row: Downing Street Launches Snap Ofsted Visits. The Guardian, June 9. Accessed July 25, 2016.
  83. Staff (The Guardian) and Agencies. 2001. Fears over Race Violence in Oldham and Aylesbury. The Guardian, May 28. Accessed July 28, 2016.
  84. Stewart, Heather, Rowena Mason, and Rajeev Syal. 2016. David Cameron Resigns After UK Votes to Leave European Union. The Guardian, June 24. Accessed August 10, 2018.
  85. Stone, Jon. 2016. Theresa May Officially Becomes UK Prime Minister. The Independent, July 13. Accessed August 10, 2018.
  86. Strom, Kaare. 1984. Minority Governments in Parliamentary Democracies the Rationality of Nonwinning Cabinet Solutions. Comparative Political Studies 17 (2): 199–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Tempest, Matthew. 2007. Blair to Stand Down on June 27. The Guardian, May 10. Accessed July 25, 2016.
  88. The Education Reform Act 1988.Google Scholar
  89. The Labour Party. 1997. Because Britain Deserves Better. Accessed July 25, 2016.
  90. The Report of the Burnley Task Force—Summary of the Clarke Report, Tony Clarke, Chair. 2001. Burnley Speaks, Who Listens?—The Clarke Report. Burnley Council, June, 2001.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arjun Tremblay
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ReginaReginaCanada

Personalised recommendations