The government has set out its long-term plan to address racial disparities in the UK, with it’s new ‘Inclusive Britain’ action plan. The plan sets out over 70 measures in the new strategy, which comes in response to the Sewell Report from the Commission on race and Ethnic Disparities that was set up in response to the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.
Some of the new measures introduced under the strategy include a new national framework for police powers such as stop and search, which will have greater scrutiny at a local level. Such powers will be drawn up by the Home Office in conjunction with police and crime commissioners across the UK. Further changes in the justice system include the piloting of an “opt-in” programme to help ethnic minorities and others receive legal advice when in police custody. The strategy also outlines steps for other areas such as employment, where the Equalities Hub will issue guidance to employers on how to measure and address the ethnicity pay gap.
Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch echoed the conclusions of the Sewell Report that, while there is anecdotal evidence of racism in Britain, it would be wrong to say that there is evidence of systemic or structural racism:
“I strongly believe that Britain is the fairest and most open-minded country in the world, but there is more that we can do to foster inclusion and enable everyone to reach their full potential.”
Responding to the publication of the Action Plan, Taiwo Owatemi, Labour’s Shadow Equalities Minister commented that:
“It’s disgraceful that we’ve had to wait almost a year for the government’s response – and worse still that it agrees with the original report’s denial of structural racism. Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have once again failed to deliver meaningful action.”