The Government has failed to find a vision for the country and has not built a cohesive society, the Archbishop of York has claimed.
Dr John Sentamu said that racism had been allowed to flourish and that Britain was no longer the “great nation” it once had been. Instead, it was a nation in crisis. “Britain is in a very, very uncomfortable place,” he said.
In a wide-ranging speech on the country’s “broken society”, the Ugandan-born archbishop called for Britain to regain the values of “mission and enterprise” that had made it so effective when it had an empire.
His comments follow weeks of debate between political and religious leaders over the impact of multiculturalism on Britain, which has centered on claims from fellow senior bishops that the country has no-go areas for non-Muslims and will adopt aspects of Islamic sharia law in due course.
The criticism from the Church of England’s second most senior figure will come as a blow to Gordon Brown, who yesterday, at Labour’s spring conference, vowed to build “the Britain of our dreams” and a country where “security and opportunity for all is within our grasp”.
Dr Sentamu said that it had suffered from a loss of identity, which had made it less able to welcome immigrants and had deepened tensions between communities.