Britain may face racial ghettos in the nearest future

A race relations chief has warned that Britain risks "sleepwalking" into New Orleans style racial segregation.

Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Committee for Racial Equality, believes Hurricane Katrina has highlighted economic and racial division in the United States.

In a speech to Manchester Council for Community Relations tonight Mr Phillips will warn that the "nightmare" of "fully fledged ghettos" could happen in Britain.

From his words recent studies showed Britain had become more segregated and people were not mixing socially across the colour line.

He said: "We have to make a really big push to get people more equal and create an environment in which we can get to know each other and share experiences and share the highs and lows."

The chairman is also calling for controversial measures to address the problem.

These could include "white" schools being forced to take larger numbers of ethnic minority pupils to aid integration, Sky news reports.

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