By: Pramod Thomas
LORD DHOLAKIA has questioned the government’s commitment to levelling up and equal opportunities for ethnic minorities in the Parliament.
According to him, the actions set out by the government’s levelling-up plan do not go nearly far enough to create a more inclusive society.
While responding to the minister for work and pensions, Baroness Stedman-Scott’s, repeat statement on the Commission on Race and Racial Disparities, he questioned the government’s Covid inquiry terms regarding a lack of reference to the disproportionate effect on ethnic minorities.
“Many workers have lost their lives. The pandemic showed how heavily we depend on our diverse communities to serve our NHS,” Lord Dholakia said.
Referring to the levelling up plan, he said that with the creation of new strategies and frameworks by the government in the years to come, they are not dealt with enough immediacy and have a lack of inclusivity.
According to Dholakia, the new framework for stop and search will not build trust between the police and the ethnic communities they serve, unless they end suspicionless stop and search due to its disproportionate impact on minorities.
While mentioning the recent abhorrent intimate strip and search of a young black student, he stressed categorically that the lack of ethnic minority officers is not going to help the adversarial relations between the police and black communities.
He also urged clamping down on online racist abuse through new legislation under the Inclusive Britain strategy.
Lord Dholakia reiterated the deeply concerning and serious issue of ‘maternal health outcomes for ethnic-minority women’.
“This was something, that has been linked to systemic racism by experts,” he said.