DAVID CAMERON’S call for people to be ‘far more muscular’ about being British has been welcomed by East Lancashire MPs of all parties.
Hyndburn and Haslingden’s Graham Jones, Ribble Valley’s Nigel Evans and Burnley’s Gordon Birtwistle backed the Prime Minister — provided national pride was about tolerance, fairness and democracy.
Last weekend Mr Cameron, below, said it was time British people were less ‘bashful’ about promoting national values and institutions.
This followed his recent comments that the UK had sent 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.” He claimed this had led to division and extremism.
Labour’s Mr Jones said: “I think everybody has their own, different definition of Britishness.
“I am proud to be British and to promote the values that made Britain great.
“They include freedom, tolerance, democracy, fairness and the rule of law.”
Liberal Democrat Mr Birtwistle said: “Mr Cameron is absolutely right.
“We should be proud to be British and people who come here should respect our traditions. They are freedom, fairness, the rule of law, tolerance, democracy and fairness.” Conservative Mr Evans said: “The Prime Minister is right to promote Britishness.
“To me that includes tolerance, fairness and above all democracy.
“Tolerance does not mean accepting unacceptable things, but toleration of different faiths, cultures, sexual orientations and ways of life.”
And Abdul Hamid Qureshi of Lancashire Council of Mosques said: “You have to decide what Britishness is.
“If it is fairness, freedom, tolerance, democracy and caring for the welfare of others, that is what we believe in.
“That means we are all British.”