Citizenship test 'to be rewritten'

8:19am Sunday 1st July 2012

© Press Association 2014

The test taken by foreign nationals who wish to become British citizens is to be rewritten by the Government, according to reports.

Immigrants will have to learn the first verse of the national anthem and be tested on key historical facts as part of the overhaul designed to place a greater focus on the nation's culture and past, The Sunday Times said.

A new handbook, expected to be issued in the autumn, will be issued to prospective citizens and form the basis of the modified 45-minute exam all aspiring British citizens must pass.

It will tell immigrants the UK is "historically" a Christian country with a "long and illustrious history" and include sections about key battles as well as British inventions, discoveries and culture.

A section on the Queen will also be included, with would-be-Britons also expected to memorise the profiles of famous artists, writers and playwrights such as William Shakespeare.

The Life in the United Kingdom test was originally introduced by Labour in 2005.

But Home Secretary Theresa May believes it places too much emphasis on the practicalities of daily living in Britain rather than the country's history, according to the newspaper.

She is understood to have scrapped sections dealing with claiming welfare payments, borrowing money and the Human Rights Act.

A Home Office spokesperson said: "Putting our culture and history at the heart of the citizenship test will help ensure those permanently settling can understand British life, allowing them to properly integrate into our society.


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