Covid-19: BAME Communities

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:31 pm on 18th June 2020.

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Photo of Felicity Buchan Felicity Buchan Conservative, Kensington 2:31 pm, 18th June 2020

This debate is very important to me and to my constituency of Kensington. As hon. Members may be aware, Kensington has some of the most extreme health inequalities in the country. The difference in average male life expectancy between my richest ward and my poorest ward is a massive 16 years. Clearly, we need to work on levelling up.

I have a very significant BAME community, and I want to start by paying tribute to my BAME community. Many of them are frontline workers—in the health service, in the police, in education—and many are at the forefront of their communities in providing charity and aid.

I welcome the report from Public Health England and the fact that the Equalities Minister will bring this forward, but I cannot stress enough that this cannot be some academic exercise. There need to be practical plans, and they need to be implemented with a sense of urgency.

One of the key tenets of my general election campaign was equality of opportunity throughout the constituency in health, in education and in housing. I want to stress that this is in all our interests. It is in all our interests that we harness the maximum talent of all our citizens. I am proud to be part of a party that values diversity, and which has a BAME Chancellor of the Exchequer, a BAME Home Secretary and a BAME Attorney General.