A Postmaster from Nottingham has sparked controversy after he lost his job for refusing to serve customers who did not speak English. Sri Lankan-born Deva Kumarasiri was sacked from the Sneinton Boulevard Post Office for acting on his belief that immigrants should be making more of an effort to integrate, claiming that, “if you come to Britain, you have got to speak English.” Mr Kumarasiri moved to another Nottingham Post Office, this time in Netherfield, but was ordered to leave a few days later after refusing to give up his stance.
Speaking afterwards, Kumarasiri said, “I am very, very sad. It was a job that I was doing for the community”. Although he claims that his customers were largely supportive of his stance, a petition circulated in the local Muslim community suggests otherwise. Local community leaders, whilst agreeing with Kumarasiri’s beliefs about the need for greater integration, have spoken out against his policy. Nottingham East MP John Heppell said, “I applaud his wishes to adopt Britishness… but you have to be very careful about withdrawing services from people.”
Kumarasiri also serves on Geldling Borough Council but has now had his name removed from the Liberal Democrats’ list of councillors. The party claims it can no longer accommodate his views. The former postmaster has now joined UKIP and will front the party’s campaign to represent the East Midlands for the Euro elections in June.