Monday 13 July 2020 / 10:35 PM Equalities / Marsha de Cordova

Labour calls for clarity one month on from Prime Minister’s commission on race announcement

Labour calls for clarity one month on from Prime Minister’s commission on race announcement

One month on from the Prime Minister announcing he wants to set up a new commission on racism and discrimination, Labour is calling on the Government to say who will lead it, who its members will be, what its terms of reference are, and what it will be called.

Structural racism in Britain remains a serious problem and for some it is a question of life and death.

In school Black Caribbean and mixed white and Black Caribbean children have rates of permanent exclusion about three times that of the pupil population as a whole; at work Black workers with degrees earn 23.1 per cent less on average than white workers; and Black people in England and Wales are more than nine times more likely to be stopped and searched by the police than their white counterparts.

A decade of austerity under the Conservatives widened racial inequalities and the coronavirus crisis is disproportionately affecting Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

The Prime Minister announced on 14 June that he was setting up a commission to look at inequality claiming that he believed it was “no use just saying that we have made huge progress in tackling racism… There is much more that we need to do; and we will. It is time for a cross-governmental commission to look at all aspects of inequality – in employment, in health outcomes, in academic and all other walks of life.”

Parliament was told the new commission should report by the end of the year. But since then we have had no information on:

  • What the title of the commission will be
  • Who will chair it
  • Who its members will be
  • What will be in the terms of reference

Marsha de Cordova MP, Labour’s Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary, is calling on the Government to immediately set out what actions it will take to tackle structural racism, saying:

“Over the last few years this Government has commissioned review after review but done precious little with the recommendations: four reviews in particular give us over 200 recommendations and it is far from clear just how many of those have actually been properly implemented.

“If the Prime Minister really meant it when he said there is much more to do then why doesn’t just get on and do it? We should not have to keep asking to get even the most basic answers about what will happen next.

“It is vital that the Government provides clarity now as to who will chair the commission, who will form its membership and what its terms of reference will be. This is urgent, to allow our Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities to be able to properly scrutinise and hold this Government to account on any action that is taken.”