David Lammy's stirring speech in response to UK's race report

31 March 2021, 11:07 | Updated: 31 March 2021, 18:56

By Fiona Jones

This is David Lammy's powerful response to the diversity report which finds the UK is not institutionally racist and is instead a 'model' to other countries.

The landmark report found Britain is a model to other countries for diversity because of successes in areas like education, and a shrinking ethnicity pay gap.

The the 264-page report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic disparities found overt racism persists in the country, particularly online, and more work still needs to be done.

The report, commissioned in the wake of last year's Black Lives Matter protests, said there have been improvements such as increasing diversity in elite professions and a shrinking ethnicity pay gap, although disparities remain.

Following the publication of the report, Mr Lammy tweeted: "Tired of the endless debate about whether structural racism exists with little desire to actually address it.

"We are being gaslighted."

Read more: David Lammy schools caller who tells him he's 'not English'

David began his heavily charged monologue in response:

"Tell that to Mina Smallman, who was mourning her two black daughters whilst police officers took selfies with their dead bodies and shared images on WhatsApp.

"Tell that to Doreen Lawrence, who is still seeking justice for the death of her son Stephen."

"Tell that to Belly Mujinga, who died of coronavirus after a man spat at her in the train station.

"Tell that to the mother of Leon Briggs, who died in police custody after being restrained face down on the floor by police officers in Luton.

"Or just go back to last summer and speak to Bianca Williams, who was stopped and searched while driving home from a training session, handcuffed while her three-month-old son was screaming in the back seat."

David continued that Boris Johnson has "let an entire generation of young white and black British people down" who are fighting for equality.

"This report could have been a turning point, a moment for us all to come together. Instead it has chosen to divide us once more and keep us debating the existence of racism rather than doing anything about it," he said.

"I tell myself that the arc of the moral universe bends towards justice...it would help if this Government were not so determined to bend the arc backwards."

Watch the full speech above.