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PM Johnson under fire for weak stance on racism

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Britain has witnessed large anti-racism demonstrations in the past two weeks

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been sharply criticized for his weak stance on the racism issue which has once again come into sharp relief in Britain following massive protests across the country.

The criticism has been led by the opposition Labor party which has lambasted Johnson’s pledge to review racial inequality, saying now is the time for action, not more pointless reviews.

Shadow justice secretary, David Lammy, said the PM’s plan “lacked detail” and was “written on the back of a fag packet” to “assuage” anti-racism protesters.

The PM announced the review in an article in the Daily Telegraph, foremost warning against attempts “to rewrite the past” and waxing lyrical at protesters’ targeted attack on the statue of Winston Churchill, which forced the authorities to seal the monument in steel.

In his article, Johnson claimed the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities would survey “all aspects of inequality – in employment, in health outcomes, in academic and all other walks of life”.

But Lammy hit back at the PM saying it is “deeply worrying” that the UK was still “having a conversation about whether racism actually exists”.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Lammy said he did not know why Johnson had “announced a commission behind a paywall, in the Telegraph, buried in the middle of yet another article about Churchill”.

“Get on with the action, legislate, move – you’re in government, do something”, Lammy beseeched the PM.

According to the BBC’s assistant political editor, Norman Smith, the new commission is set to be run from the Cabinet Office and it will report directly to the PM.

However, underlining its weak mandate, as well as its glacial pace, the commission is not expected to finish its work by Christmas at the earliest.

Beyond the world of politics, the chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, David Isaac, said there had already been "countless reports" on racial inequality and "urgent action" was now needed.


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