UK Leader Challenge: 'Explain or Change' Race Disparity

11 October, 2017, 00:40 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Theresa May outside Downing Street

May was visiting Dunraven Sixth Form ahead of the release of the results of a national probe into racial inequality which revealed a growing disparity between white Britons and British minority ethnics.

The figures reflect that unemployment for black and minority ethnic people is at almost double that of white Britons and massive disparities exist in terms of home ownership across the country. "Pupils from Chinese and Indian backgrounds showed high attainment and progress throughout their school careers and high rates of entry to university..."

The data was published in a new ethnicity facts and figures website, showing how people of different races are treated in areas including health, education, employment and the criminal justice system.

Just over one fifth of white people in the region are categorised as economically inactive compared to more than one third of other ethnic groups.

Calling the audit a "comprehensive and coherent race equality strategy", David Isaac, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said that the report must be used tackle the "entrenched inequality" in the United Kingdom, and to set the foundations for real change.

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The prime minister will launch a website later containing the data, compiled from across the United Kingdom government.

In employment, the Department for Work and Pensions will take action in 20 targeted "hotspots".

"The Government must tackle the significant disparities confirmed by the audit in order to address the entrenched inequality that is so prevalent in our society".

A "bleak" picture of the level of racial inequality in Britain has been laid bare following the Government's decision to publish a raft of official statistics on how race affects life chances.

Attending the PM's diversity event at Number 10 were a number of campaigners, including Jabeer Butt from the Race Equality Foundation, Omar Khan from the Runnymede Trust, Kunle Olulode from Voice4Change and Matilda MacAttram from Black Mental Health. "The time for talking is now over, we must now move to debating solutions".

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Labour's equalities spokeswoman Dawn Butler said that Mrs May had written to then Prime Minister David Cameron in 2010 warning of the risk that austerity would disproportionately hit minorities.

Mrs May said the audit would become an "essential resource in the battle to defeat ethnic injustice".

Mrs May is expected to declare there is "nowhere to hide" for the Government or public services who do not act on its information. "These issues are now out in the open", she told a private meeting to launch the report, according to her office.

She said: 'I think whats happening is that the constant talking about institutional racism, racial bias, unfair treatment - these are the words that the Prime Minister herself was using - is stoking grievance.

"Britain has come a long way in my lifetime in spreading equality and opportunity".

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"We are a government that said its going to work for everyone, a country that works for everyone and that means, where there are injustices, that we are doing everything we can to tackle and reveal them".

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