18/05/2014 05:12 BST | Updated 18/05/2014 05:59 BST

Immigrants Should Learn English Says Culture Secretary Sajid Javid

Yui Mok/WPA-Rota
Culture secretary Sajid Javid in the Downing Street garden, London, to help launch the Royal British Legion's poppy campaign - whereby the RBL will send every school in the country free poppy seeds to plant with the aim of helping to raise childrens awareness of conflict.

Immigrants who come to live in Britain need to learn to speak English and to "respect our way of life", Culture Secretary Sajid Javid has said.

Javid, the son of Pakistani immigrants and the first Asian Secretary of State, said that people were entitled to expect that immigrants made a contribution to society.

"People want Britain to have more control over its borders, and I think they are right," he told The Sunday Telegraph.

"People also say, when immigrants do come to Britain, that they should come to work, and make a contribution and that they should also respect our way of life, and I agree with all of that. It means things like trying to learn English."

His intervention comes at a time when the Conservatives are under intense pressure from the UK Independence Party over the issue of immigration ahead of Thursday's European elections.

Javid criticised those who had failed to assimilate into British society, despite living in the country for many years.

"I know people myself, I have met people who have been in Britain for over 50 years and they still can't speak English," he said.

"I think it's perfectly reasonable for British people to say, look, if you're going to settle in Britain and make it your home, you should learn the language of the country and you should respect its laws and its culture."