Javid says racism in the police or elsewhere should ‘never ever be tolerated’

The Health Secretary says the UK is ‘the most successful multiracial democracy on Earth’, but that is not to say racism does not exist in society.

17 February 2022

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said racism should “never ever be tolerated”, whether in the police or elsewhere.

In an interview with the PA news agency, Mr Javid said the UK is “the most successful multiracial democracy on Earth”, but that is not to say racism does not exist in society.

His comments come after his brother, Metropolitan Police deputy assistant commissioner Bas Javid, admitted earlier this week that racism is a problem in the country’s largest force.

Asked what the next Met commissioner needs to do to reassure people of colour that the force has changed, the Health Secretary told PA: “I think we’re all very lucky to live in what I think is the most successful multiracial democracy on Earth.

“But that doesn’t mean to say there isn’t racism in society and wherever it is detected, whether that’s (in) our police forces or anywhere else, it should never ever be tolerated, and everything should be done to get rid of it.”

Earlier on Thursday, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said the Met has “deep cultural issues”, including “overt racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, discrimination”.

He suggested on LBC that there had been improvements at the force since he was a child, saying: “There are so many decent dedicated, brave officers.”

But he said “there has got to be an acknowledgement that there are deep cultural issues.

“We are not talking about unconscious bias, we’re not talking about unwitting prejudice.

“We’re talking about overt racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, discrimination and the like,” he said.

Outgoing Met commissioner Dame Cressida Dick denied the force was institutionally racist in August 2020, stating it adopts a zero tolerance approach to the issue.

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