Phillips backs Bish

The flight of the white middle classes from the inner cities is accelerating, the Government’s race relations chief has said. Trevor Phillips said so-called ”white flight” – an American phenomenon now increasingly seen here – was deepening racial segregation.

Mr Phillips has warned in the past of the growing polarisation of the country along ethnic lines. But his use of the emotive term ”white flight” will fuel the controversy triggered by the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester.

He said last week some Muslim enclaves were “no-go areas” for Christians and there was a need for greater integration. Mr Phillips, who chairs the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said the Bishop was right to raise the issue because white families were moving out of areas with high ethnic minority populations.

Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of Migrationwatch, praised Mr Phillips for confronting the evidence of “white flight”. “This is another courageous contribution from Trevor Phillips, who is clearly prepared to face the facts about the current strains in our society,” he said. “We would add – although he does not – that massive levels of immigration are a significant factor in this.”

Daily Telegraph, 15 January 2007