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Tackle prejudice, racism and discrimination

Last updated 3 weeks ago

We will tackle prejudice, racism and discrimination...

Conservative Party Manifesto 2019, p.22

Our verdict

  • This is a wide-reaching promise to tackle the significant and longstanding social problems of prejudice, racism and discrimination.
  • In July 2020, the government announced the establishment of a Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities (CRED) to “examine the cause of persistent disparities – considering racism and discrimination”. The CRED published its report on 31 March 2021 and it was met with incredulity and anger from many equality activists, politicians and trade unions.  The Prime Minister’s senior adviser on ethnic minorities resigned on the day of the report’s publication, having previously written of his fear that the Conservative Party was pursuing “a politics steeped in division”. In the weeks following the CRED’s report, many organisations sought to distance themselves from the commission’s stance, and many trade unions signed an open letter rejecting the report.  The CRED’s report was referenced repeatedly in another report in June 2021 from the Education Committee looking at the performance of ‘white working class’ pupils in schools – that report sparked further controversy.
  • Since it was established, the CRED was criticised as inadequate, and the decision to appoint Dr Tony Sewell as its chair faced a legal challenge. The leaked resignation letter from the Prime Minister’s adviser and a report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights express doubts over the intent and efficacy of government action in this area, and the overwhelmingly negative response to the CRED report can only be seen as a failure of the government’s ambition to “set out a new, positive agenda”.  This policy is ‘not started’.

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