NEWS
15/06/2020 13:15 BST | Updated 15/06/2020 13:56 BST

Five Inequality Reviews Boris Johnson Could Have Acted On Instead Of Ordering Another

Labour MP David Lammy said: "Black people are protesting precisely because the time for review is over, and the time for action is now."

Boris Johnson’s decision to launch another inequalities review addressing issues raised by the Black Lives Matter movement has been described as a “back of a fag packet” plan.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme Labour’s David Lammy said the announcement makes it feel like “yet again in the UK we want figures, data – but we don’t want action”.

He added: “Black people are protesting precisely because the time for review is over, and the time for action is now.”

“If he [Boris Johnson] was serious, why are there no details about how it will be staffed, its remit, its terms of reference, its timetable? That’s the question,” Lammy continued.

“It’s because this was written on the back of a fag packet yesterday to assuage the Black Lives Matter protest. Get on with the action, legislate, move – you’re in government, do something.”

Asked if he felt the latest review was pointless, Lammy added: “I made 35 specific recommendations in the Lammy review. Implement them. There are 110 recommendations in the Angiolini review into deaths in police custody. Implement them. There are 30 recommendations in the Home Office review into the Windrush scandal. Implement them. Twenty-six in Baroness McGregor-Smith’s review into workplace discrimination. Implement them. That’s what Boris has to do. And then the Black Lives Matter protests can stop and we can get on with dealing with the coronavirus.”

Johnson, writing in the Daily Telegraph, said the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities would look at “all aspects of inequality – in employment, in health outcomes, in academic and all other walks of life”.

And he told broadcasters: “What I really want to do as prime minister is change the narrative so we stop the sense of victimisation and discrimination.

“We stamp out racism and we start to have a real sense of expectation of success. That’s where I want to get to but it won’t be easy.”

The announcement follows two weeks of protests across the country by the Black Lives Matter movement following the killing in the US of George Floyd, who died as a white police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.

Lammy said it is “deeply worrying” and “frankly immature” that Britain is still “having a conversation about whether racism actually exists”.

David Isaac, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, also said there had already been “countless reports” on the issues surrounding racial inequality and “urgent action” was needed instead.

Here are five inequality reports that the PM could have consulted before launching another...

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Windrush Lessons Learned Review

Concluding in 2020, the Windrush Lessons Learned Review was commissioned after people with a right to live in the UK were wrongfully detained or deported to the Caribbean.

It called for Home Office ministers to admit that serious harm was inflicted on people who are British and to provide an “unqualified apology” to those affected and the wider Black African-Caribbean community.

Other recommendations include commissioning a full review and evaluation of the hostile environment policy and that the Home Office should establish an overarching strategic race advisory board.

The report “carefully considered” whether the concept of institutional racism outlined by Sir William Macpherson in the inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence was “directly relevant to describe what occurred”.

The inquiry found that although the case for institutional racism was supported by a number of factors, the Home Office did not satisfy the definition in full.

The report “carefully considered” whether the concept of institutional racism outlined by Sir William Macpherson in the inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence was “directly relevant to describe what occurred”.

The inquiry found that although the case for institutional racism was supported by a number of factors, the Home Office did not satisfy the definition in full.

The Home Office identified 164 people who had been deported or put in detention since 2002 amid the Windrush scandal, records said.

A compensation scheme with an estimated budget of at least £200 million has been set up.

But last month, campaigners hit out at the “paltry” number of people who have so far received payments and said the process was “slow and onerous”.

A total of £62,198 was paid out up until the end of last year and shared between just 36 people, despite the department receiving more than 1,000 claims so far.

The Lammy Review

Concluding in September 2017, the Lammy Review examined the treatment of, and outcomes for, Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people in the criminal justice system.

The inquiry concluded that BAME individuals “still face bias, including overt discrimination, in parts of the justice system”.

It flagged up a raft of data pointing to BAME disproportionality in the courts, prisons and probation service, which is said to cost the taxpayer more than £300 million a year.

The report:

  • Raised concerns that the BAME proportion of youth prisoners increased 25% to 41% from 2006-2016 despite an overall fall in under-18s in custody.
  • Found in most cases defendants’ ethnicity does not affect the likelihood they will be charged but flagged up “worrying disparities” in prosecution rates for rape and domestic abuse.
  • Cited analysis showing that, while there was no statistical link between ethnicity and the likelihood of receiving a prison sentence for acquisitive violence and sexual offences, the odds of being given a custodial punishment for drug offences were around 240% higher for BAME individuals. 

When Keir Starmer asked why the recommendations had not yet been introduced at PMQs earlier this month, Boris Johnson said some were now being implemented.

The Angiolini Review

Also published in 2017, the Angiolini Review was commissioned to look into “the wide range of circumstances around deaths and serious incidents in police custody and of suicides occurring shortly after release from police custody”.

While it was not established to examine the experiences of the BAME population specifically it did highlight that BAME people made up a disproportionately large number of deaths in police custody.

It made over 100 recommendations, including:

The McGregor-Smith Government Review

The McGregor-Smith Government review was established in 2016 with the goal of “developing Black and minority ethnic talent”.

Its findings formed part of a larger report from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) which found BAME workers are a third more likely to be underemployed than white workers, with BAME workers facing an underemployment rate of 15.3% compared to 11.5% for white workers.

If BAME workers faced the same rate as white workers 110,000 people would be lifted out of underemployment, according to the TUC.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady, said at the time: “Underemployment is a major problem in the UK, and it only gets worse if you’re Black, Asian, or part of any ethnic minority.

“This is not only wrong, but a massive waste of talent too.”

Healing A Divided Britain

The Equality and Human Rights Commission published the Healing A Divided Britain report in 2016 in the wake of the divisive EU referendum.

It’s main recommendation was that the “UK government develops a comprehensive, coordinated and long-term strategy to achieve race equality, with stretching new targets to improve opportunities and deliver clear and measurable outcomes”.

“The strategy should be informed by the evidence and experiences of all ethnic groups in Britain, including key stakeholder groups.”