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Keir Starmer calls for a full race equality act saying structural problems need addressing

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer visits Milton Keynes Police Station - Credit: PA

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said he was “disappointed” by the findings of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities’ report published so far.

Tony Sewell, who is chairman of the Commission, said while there was anecdotal evidence of racism, denied there was any proof that it was structural.

But the leader of the opposition insisted there were structural problems that needed to be addressed.

He told reporters on a visit in Leeds: “I haven’t seen the full report yet and, obviously, I’ll want to read that.

“I’ve seen the briefings out of it and I’m disappointed.

“On the one hand, there’s an acknowledgement of the problems, the issues, the challenges that face many black and minority ethnic communities.

“But, on the other hand, there’s a reluctance to accept that that’s structural.”

He said there had been “report after report” on the issue and called for a full race equality act.

“We have had report after report. We have seen the disproportionate impact on black and minority ethnic communities of the pandemic.

“I think what we now need to see is a proper acknowledgement of the depth of that, the structural nature of that, but, most of all, to act on the very many recommendations that we’ve had for many years, whether that’s in the business community, at board level, in criminal justice, on the pandemic.

“I think, in the end, what we need is a race equality act, which is what the Labour Party is committed to.”

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