Britain can rightly take pride in its tolerant outlook. Indeed, it is this attitude that has helped to build our remarkably successful multi-ethnic society, even as immigration has reached unprecedented levels.

But there is a danger that such tolerance sometimes degenerates into a cowardly reluctance to tackle damaging social practices within certain ethnic minorities. In political circles, the fear of accusations of racial prejudice can create a climate of denial, where hard realities are ignored and difficult truths become unsayable.

That is certainly what happened over the disgraceful sex-grooming scandal in Rotherham, in which the civic authorities, including the police and social services, tried to cover up the systematic abuse of more than 1,400 vulnerable girls by predatory gangs of Pakistani heritage men.

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