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Stephen Lawrence Day: Brother Stuart responds to UK race report verdict

23 April 2021, 08:47

By Maddie Goodfellow

Stephen Lawrence's brother has told LBC that the UK 'cannot move on and say we are better' when suggestions have not been implemented as he dissected the findings of the UK's race report.

Author of "Silence is not an option" Stuart Lawrence spoke to Iain Dale and Denise Headley on LBC and discussed the findings of the UK's race report.

His brother Stephen was killed in a racist attack by a gang of white youths in south-east London aged 18 in 1993.

Mr Lawrence told LBC: "For me, what happens with these things is we hear a sensational headline and we run with that.

"There are 32 recommendations in that report, and at the beginning of this week I spoke to the Home Office and Civil Servants about race equality and diversity, and they spoke about that report quite heavily.

"Especially because of the policing element, and the woman who is in charge of making sure police do what they say they will do, she said that she will implement them to make sure that underrepresentation, and disparity in that sense, doesn't happen any more."

Mr Lawrence argued: "It has been a year since we lost Sir William Macpherson, and again that was meant to be a momentum shifter, with the 71 recommendations that he made, and not all of them have been implemented."

After the original police investigation into Stephen's death was hampered by prejudice, incompetence and alleged corruption, the subsequent Macpherson Report into the 18-year-old's case concluded the police were guilty of "institutional racism".

Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick last year declared this was no longer true, saying "this is an utterly different Metropolitan Police."

He continued: "So how can we move on from something to say that we are now better when we haven't implemented everything, and people haven't even admitted that there was a problem back there then either.

"If you do something wrong, put your hand up, understand, admit it and learn from it so we can move on.

"It's confusing if we tell people mixed messages. And what I'm not trying to say is that it's only a police problem, the permanent secretary of the home office holds just as much power as a minister does."