Home secretary Sajid Javid is standing by his Asian paedophile comment and said those who criticised him were being oversensitive.
Javid courted controversy last month when he took to Twitter to brand a grooming gang “sick Asian paedophiles.”
Reacting to the news report of 20 British Asian men being convicted of grooming girls as young as 11 in Huddersfield, Javid wrote: “These sick Asian paedophiles are finally facing justice. I want to commend the bravery of the victims. For too long, they were ignored. Not on my watch. There will be no no-go areas.”
These sick Asian paedophiles are finally facing justice. I want to commend the bravery of the victims. For too long, they were ignored. Not on my watch. There will be no no-go areas https://t.co/cZGqDOxt4u
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) October 19, 2018
Defending his words, Javid told Sky News: “I don’t regret it at all.
“When I made that comment I was stating the facts, and the sad truth is that if you look at recent high-profile convictions of gang-based child sexual exploitation there is a majority of people that come from Pakistani heritage backgrounds – that’s plain for everyone to see.
“What I’ve said is that we, in trying to deal with this, trying to turn this round, we must look at all factors and we must not be too sensitive and shy away or be oversensitive.
“That’s why I think we should be looking to see if there are any cultural issues and that’s why I’ve commissioned some research on this.”
Javid’s Asian paedophile comments were criticised by a number of high-profile politicians, including David Lammy, who said Javid had brought “a great office of state into disrepute.”
“By singling out ‘Asians’ he not only panders to the far-right, but increases the risk of violence and abuse against minorities across the country,” the Labour MP said.
Dr Zubaida Haque, the deputy director of race equality think tank Runnymede Trust, last month told the Independent that Javid’s tweet was “appalling and a complete disservice to the survivors” of sexual abuse.