Un International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:37 pm on 8th April 2019.

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Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley Conservative, Worthing West 8:37 pm, 8th April 2019

May I say that many of us will sympathise with Ian Austin? I think he has spoken for the people on his Labour side of the House, and I hope that people on my Conservative side of the House would do the same if we had things like that in our party.

I want to approach this in two ways. The first is to give publicity to someone whom I do not think deserves it, but who is dangerous—Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, also known as Andrew McMaster, as Paul Harris, as Wayne King and now as Tommy Robinson. He is apparently a special adviser to the present leader, Gerard Batten, of UKIP. This man Stephen Yaxley-Lennon has been convicted over the years of assault, threatening behaviour, common assault, false identity documents, mortgage fraud—the judge said that it came to £640,000—and contempt of court. I am leaving aside any other current charges that may be around. I say to all my constituents, “If you are fed up with the Tory party, don’t go to a party like UKIP that takes him in as a leader’s adviser. If UKIP changes and throws him out, by all means, but until then, don’t. He’s dangerous, and the people he associates with are dangerous as well.”

The second thing is a total change of thought, but it follows up a point made from the Opposition side of the House. For people to get good jobs, they need good education. I have been helping a maths teacher who is Ghanaian. He is a really good maths teacher, and when he left a particular school, its results fell. He has been pursued by a number of people in a vendetta that has caused him to be arrested twice in the last few months, to lose his job and to be hanging around for possibly up to another nine months while the Teaching Regulation Agency and the Disclosure and Barring Service consider whether he is fit to teach. He clearly is fit to teach. He should not have been treated like that, and I do not believe that, had he been white, he would have been, either by the police or by the education authorities. I regret that the Department for Education was involved in causing him to have his last job withdrawn.

I spend a lot of time working with people who have problems. The ones that are most difficult to put right are those that involve Sikhs or other people from the subcontinent. We all know about Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba, the paediatrician who was, in my view, treated very unfairly by investigators, by prosecutors and by the General Medical Council.