All government policies to be reviewed following riots

15 Aug 11
Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a 'no holds barred' review of government policy in the wake of last week's riots in England.

By Richard Johnstone | 15 August 2011

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a ‘no holds barred’ review of government policy in the wake of last week’s riots in England.

Prime Minister David Cameron announces a government policy review following the English riots. PA

In a speech in Oxfordshire today, Cameron said that ‘social problems that have been festering for decades have exploded in our face’. The review will examine whether current policies are bold enough to confront the ‘slow-motion moral collapse’ he believes led to the riots.

Cameron said that a security fightback needed to be matched by a social fightback against the ‘attitudes and assumptions that have brought parts of our society to this shocking state’.

Highlighting a growth of irresponsibility and selfishness in society that he argued led to ‘children without fathers, schools without discipline… rights without responsibilities, communities without control’, Cameron added: ‘I can announce today that over the next few weeks, I and ministers from across the coalition government will review every aspect of our work to mend our broken society.’

Policies across a range of areas including schools, welfare, families and parenting, addiction and communities will be examined to ensure they are bold enough to support the government’s plans for ‘a sense of social responsibility at the heart of every community’.

Cameron said that support to families and parenting would be a key part of the review, with a new ‘family test’ introduced for all domestic policy.

He said: ‘If [a policy] hurts families, if it undermines commitment, if it tramples over the values that keeps people together, or stops families from being together, then we shouldn’t do it.’ He also committed the government to turning round the lives of the 120,000 most troubled families in the country by the end of the Parliament in 2015.

The government will also undertake what Cameron called a ‘concerted, all-out war on gangs and gang culture’.

He said: ‘It is a major criminal disease that has infected streets and estates across our country. Stamping out these gangs is a new national priority.’

Labour leader Ed Miliband has accused the government of ‘knee-jerk gimmicks’ in its response to the riots. In a speech at Haverstock School in London after Cameron spoke,Miliband said that some politicians wanted toput the riots down simply to criminality.

However, he said that there needed to be anational conversation’ with the communities affected by the rioting to determine why this happened.

The Labour leader called for a commission to get answers from the people who rioted and to listen to victims, and said that if the government did not announce such an inquiry, he would launch one himself.

Miliband said: ‘Let’s not be scared of seeking an explanation and hearing answers.

‘The people leading this inquiry must include young people, those with experience of being in gangs, people from across the community.

‘We need an answer which comes from the people themselves, that listens to the victims, that builds on their own experiences.’


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