United Kingdom must take action on racial disparity, says Theresa May

Nicola Sturgeon accused of pursuing grievance by not co-operating on Theresa May's racial disparity audit

United Kingdom must take action on racial disparity, says Theresa May

Some BAME groups are more likely to live in overcrowded housing, to grow up in persistent poverty, to be stopped and searched by police than white British people and less likely to earn as much per hour, or to own their homes.

The survey highlighted unemployment and huge disparity existed in ownership of houses in the country.

Prime Minister Theresa May commissioned the audit past year, and has worked with groups across the country, publishing the audit and a new website with statistics on over 130 topics, which will act as a permanent source of data - and gauge of levels of inequality.

Specifically, white youngsters were four times more likely to smoke than black youths, but Black Caribbean pupils are being permanently excluded from school three times as often as White British pupils.

One of the areas where white people are apparently doing worse than other races is mental health - one in seven white Brits has been forced to seek mental health treatment, twice as many as other ethnic groups.

'It's also deterring ethnic minorities from engaging in public services'.

Black and ethnic minority (BME) Britons are nearly twice as likely to be unemployed as white adults, a government-backed review of racial issues in the United Kingdom has revealed.

The new site, available later today, contains thousands of statistics covering more than 130 topics in areas including employment, health, education, and criminal justice.

■ Households of Bangladeshi, Pakistani, black, mixed and other backgrounds were more likely to receive income-related benefits and tax credits than those in other ethnic groups. The biggest hourly wage gap was between Indian employees, who earned the highest average hourly pay at £15.81 per hour, while Pakistani and Bangladeshi employees earned the lowest at £11.42.

And white people are significantly more likely to struggle with suicidal thoughts, with 21.6 per cent saying they have considered killing themselves compared to just 13.1 per cent of Asians.

■ White British adults were the most likely to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day but were also among the most likely to be overweight and to drink alcohol at harmful levels.

Shadow equalities minister Dawn Butler called for "solutions and a sustained effort" to stamp out ethnic injustices as she attacked government policies for contributing to an equal society.

Meeting campaigners at 10 Downing Street, Ms May admitted the findings were "uncomfortable" and said there would be "nowhere to hide" for public bodies which fail to respond. "Far from tackling burning injustices, she has added fuel to the fire".

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said the audit showed a prejudice that was "utterly unacceptable in 21st century Britain".

The figures have prompted demands for the Government do more to tackle the inequities.

Martha Spurrier, director of civil rights group Liberty, said: "The bleak picture this report paints of racial injustice in the United Kingdom demands an immediate and bold response".

London's deputy mayor for social integration, Matthew Ryder, said: "This is very troubling information, but sadly all too familiar reading for those who have been deeply concerned about inequality in Britain for many years".

"The findings from the Race Disparity Audit present us with a real opportunity to make transformative change in tackling persistent race inequality", said Simon Wooley, Director of Operation Black Vote, following the report's publication.

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