Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:26 pm on 21st April 2021.

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Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education 1:26 pm, 21st April 2021

My Lords, as I have outlined, the evidence that was considered by the commissioners, as we understand it, is that they did not find institutional racism in any of the sectors. I will come back to the specific comments from the other place that the noble Lord has raised but I understand that context to be, as I have outlined, that institutional racism is a concept that we respect and understand, and the commission stood by the Macpherson definition, but there was not the evidence base here. Of course it is difficult when feelings are running high—obviously, I note that it is an important day today, particularly for the criminal justice system in America—but when the evidence does not lead you to that conclusion then we have to respect that. As I said to the noble Baroness, Lady Armstrong, a critique of the methodology may be wanted, but these are the conclusions of 10 respected commissioners: that the evidence did not lead to that conclusion, as uncomfortable as that can sometimes be.