Dame Louise Casey interview: I’m sick of some men’s version of Islam: telling women what to do
Dame Louise Casey may talk posh but she can still tell it like it is
I have often thought I was the prime minister’s bit of rough,” says Dame Louise Casey. The straight-talking former civil servant who advised Tony Blair on homelessness and antisocial behaviour, set up the troubled families unit for David Cameron and produced a report on integration for Theresa May never quite fitted into Whitehall. “I went to the nudge unit — it’s like something out of W1A, all smarties and pods — and I looked round and said, ‘When you set up a shove unit give me a ring.’ ”
Defining herself as a campaigner rather than a technocrat, she has never been afraid to speak truth to power. “Look at me I’m a dame and I can talk quite posh nowadays,” she says, “but I relentlessly go out and listen, whether it’s in a doctor’s surgery, a foodbank or Poundland. You see life and it’s tricky. It infuriates the living daylights out of me when they’re all blathering on and the country is saying, ‘Show us leadership.’ ”
This is her first newspaper interview since leaving the civil service last year and becoming chairwoman of the Institute of Global Homelessness. Having started out as a volunteer in a rough sleepers’ shelter in her twenties, she says, “I do feel as if I’ve gone full circle.” More than a year after her report on integration was published, the government finally produced its response this week. “They are going to look at Sharia law, home schooling and English language. That’s all good. The slight frustration is that we are still waiting for the big, bold enaction of it.”
Get on with integration, Dame Louise Casey tells ministers
Segregation and antisocial behaviour are spiralling because of politically correct “do-gooders”, the government’s former integration adviser has suggested in an interview with The Times.
Dame Louise Casey criticised ministers for describing integration as a two-way street and being hobbled by sensitivities. Her comments come days after the government published its response to her report on integration.
She welcomed the thrust of the response, particularly on Sharia and home education, and said that action was needed from ministers who had shied away from confronting the issue.