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MPs split on loyalty oath for public servants

By Shaun Connolly

Moves to make all public office holders swear an oath of allegiance to British values will not combat radicalisation, opposition parties have warned.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid sparked controversy by saying he was "drawn" to the idea of a loyalty pledge, which elected officials, civil servants, council workers, and BBC and NHS employees may be expected to swear.

Mr Javid's proposal follows a report on social cohesion by Dame Louise Casey, which warned some sections of society did not accept British values, such as tolerance.

However, Labour's Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott said the move was doomed to failure.

"I have nothing against it in principle, but it will not make a difference to the problems of radicalisation or integration," she said.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesman Lord Brian Paddick described the idea as "superficial and divisive".

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