Britain misspells 'language' as it unveils English language tests for migrants

British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks with women attending an English language class at the Shantona Women's Centre in Leeds.
British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks with women attending an English language class at the Shantona Women's Centre in Leeds.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Britain's Home Office was left red-faced on Friday (Jan 22) after unveiling new English tests for migrants - but misspelling the word "language" in its announcement.

Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday launched a £20 million (S$40.9 million) language fund to help women, particularly Muslims, who arrive in Britain after getting married but struggle to speak English.

He also said women from non-EU countries who fail to pass an English language test after two and a half years in the country could face deportation, drawing criticism from Muslim groups and opposition parties.

A Home Office press release giving details of the move on Thursday spoke of a "new English langauge test" and had to be corrected.

Asked if Cameron was disappointed by the mistake, his official spokeswoman told reporters: "All of us are open to mistakes at times.

"The prime minister is pretty confident that his team speak English competently."

The error drew ridicule on Twitter - broadcaster Anita Anand wrote it was "beyond parody", while user @DaveGoddard 1971 joked: "Makes you proud to be British".