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Muslim Women Should Pay For Their Own English Lessons, Says Tory MP

"If I decide to go and live in Spain I wouldn't expect the Spanish government to teach me Spanish," said Philip Davies.

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Muslim women in Britain should pay for their own English lessons, a Tory MP has said.

Philip Davies said he agreed with David Cameron's plan to help Muslim migrant women improve their English but he insisted taxpayers should not have to "foot the bill".

Cameron warned on Monday that women who fail to boost their language skills after two and a half years could be deported. He is setting up a £20 million programme to help pay for the lessons.

Davies, MP for Shipley, praised the "very sensible proposals" but said lessons should not be free for those taking them.

In the House of Commons on Thursday, he said: "Perhaps we could discuss who should pay for these English lessons because many of my constituents think that it shouldn't be the taxpayer who foots the bill, it should be the people themselves.

"If I decide to go and live in Spain I wouldn't expect the Spanish government to teach me Spanish."

Commons leader Chris Grayling told Davies he had made his point "very eloquently" but said it was "absolutely essential that people who come to live and work in this country speak English".

Grayling added: "Our communities have ended up more divided than they should be because of the fact that so many people who have come here cannot speak English. That is something that really has to change."

Emily Ashton is a senior political correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Emily Ashton at emily.ashton@buzzfeed.com.

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