Muslim and BAME communities not taking coronavirus pandemic seriously, Tory MP says

31 July 2020, 08:33

By Adrian Sherling

A Conservative MP has told LBC that the "vast majority" of people breaking lockdown rules are from the BAME community.

The Government's announced a ban on different households meeting indoors in parts of northern England - in response to a spike in coronavirus cases. They won't be allowed to mix in each other's homes or gardens, or in places like pubs and restaurants.

The restrictions affect more than 4 million people across Greater Manchester and parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire. This follows the restrictions that are already in place in Leicester.

Criag Whittaker is MP for the Calder Valley, one of the areas that has been affected. He told Ian Payne that it is Muslim and BAME communities who have not been obeying lockdown rules.

He said: "What I have seen in my constituency is that there are sections of the community that are not taking the pandemic seriously."

Craig Whittaker said the vast majority of people not obeying lockdown rules are from BAME community
Craig Whittaker said the vast majority of people not obeying lockdown rules are from BAME community. Picture: PA / House of Commons

Ian clarified that he was talking about the Muslim community and Mr Whittaker responded: "Of course.

"If you look at the areas where we've seen rises and cases, the vast majority - but not by any stretch of the imagination all areas - it is the BAME communities that are not taking this seriously enough.

"I've been challenging our local leaders for three weeks, asking what we are doing to target these areas to let people know that this is a very serious problem. Until people take it seriously, we're not going to get rid of this pandemic.

"We have areas of high multiple occupancy - when you have multiple families living in one household. It doesn't specifically have to be in the Asian community, but that is the largest proportion.

"Look at the areas. You've got Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees. Bradford and Kirklees have two of the largest populations in West Yorkshire."

Again Ian clarified that he was referring to the immigrant population and the MP said: "Immigrant and Asian population."

Watch the full interview at the top of the page.