Sadiq Khan says failure to promote integration is hurting the UK economy

Mark Sands
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Olympics & Paralympics Team GB - Rio 2016 Victory Parade
The UK voted to leave the European Union on 23 June. (Source: Getty)

London mayor Sadiq Khan has today called on European mayors and other city leaders to focus on uniting communities in the aftermath of Donald Trump's shock election win.

Speaking at a conference at City Hall, Khan said failure to achieve better integration in the UK was costing the economy around £6bn.

It comes after Khan won support for his efforts at proclaiming “London is Open” in the aftermath of this summer's Brexit vote.

Read More: Khan to blast the government for "shrugging off" City Brexit fears

Khan opened the event, focused on integration, in front of an audience including the mayors of Amsterdam, Athens, Brussels, Copenhagen, Ghent, Lisbon, Oslo, Rotterdam, Stockholm and Vienna.

Deputy mayors of Bordeaux, New York and Paris were also at the venue today, and were told that a failure to help communities meld damages health, restricts social mobility and increases unemployment.

Khan said that that president-elect Trump's shock victory in the US presidential contest last week reflected increasingly polarised politics, with cities in particular becoming disconnected from national debates, and rapidly increasing the need to boost integration.

Read More: Watch: London mayor Sadiq Khan's message after Croydon tram accident

“Promoting social integration means ensuring that people of different faiths, ethnicities, social backgrounds and generations don't just tolerate one another or live side-by-side, but actually meet and mix with one another and forge relationships as friends and neighbours, as well as citizens,” Khan said.

“We know that when this happens, trust grows, communities flourish and become more productive, healthier and, ultimately, more prosperous for everyone.”

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