15 June 2014
Last updated at 05:37
People in the UK should stop being “bashful” about being British, the prime minister has urged.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, David Cameron said the country should be “far more muscular” in promoting its values and institutions.
He repeated Education Secretary Michael Gove’s call to promote “British values” in the classroom following the Trojan Horse claims in Birmingham schools.
This should include teaching children about the Magna Carta, Mr Cameron said.
Mr Cameron wrote that in recent years, the UK had send out a “worrying” message: “That if you don’t want to believe in democracy, that’s fine; that if equality isn’t your bag, don’t worry about it; that if you’re completely intolerant of others, we will still tolerate you.
“This has not just led to division, it has also allowed extremism – of both the violent and non-violent kind – to flourish.”
Mr Gove has promised “decisive action” after Ofsted inspectors said that in several schools in Birmingham, governors had wielded “inappropriate influence”.
Its report followed claims conservative Muslims had sought to influence the ethos and curriculum of schools in the city.
Birmingham’s Nansen Primary was one of those inspected by Ofsted
In the wake of Ofsted’s findings, Mr Cameron said “British values” included: “A belief in freedom, tolerance of others, accepting personal and social responsibility, respecting and upholding the rule of law.”
These were “as British as the Union Flag, as football, as fish and chips,” he wrote in the newspaper article.
In 2015 it will be 800 years since King John signed the Magna Carta, the document which first established the king was subject to the law.
Mr Cameron said he wanted all pupils to take lessons on the charter to mark the anniversary.
“The remaining copies… may have faded,” he wrote. “But its principles shine as brightly as ever, and they paved the way for the democracy, the equality, the respect and the laws that make Britain, Britain.”
Ahead of a “one year to go” reception at Downing Street later, Mr Cameron said he also wanted “towns to commemorate it [and] for events to celebrate it.”