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Maajid Nawaz's Plea To Mark Carney To Put Ethnic Minority Person On £50 Note
16 December 2018, 16:02 | Updated: 16 December 2018, 16:06
Maajid Nawaz says the campaign to put a person from black, Asian and minority ethnic background as the face of the new £50 note is a gentle reminder that there is still more work to do for race equality.
A campaign to have a historic figure from a black, Asian and minority ethnic background for the new plastic £50 note has been backed by more than 200 people including prominent stars, cultural leaders and politicians.
It comes after the Bank of England closed public nominations for suggestions for a new portrait on Friday.
The governor of the bank Mark Carney will make a final decision next year.
The campaigners' letter said: "Ethnic minority communities represent 14% of the British population.
"We do not lack candidates, and arguably their achievements were the greater for having been made at a time when many careers were effectively closed to them, whether through colonial rules, racism, or the legacy of slavery."
And Maajid agreed, noting that it took the campaign for him to realise that "there wasn't a person of colour on any of our money".
"That then made me realise how many other areas like this are blindspots," he said.
"How have I lived my life and gone through my entire 41 years and gotten used to that sort of blank, let's call it being white-washed out of existence and not being represented?
"And it kind of reminds you that there is still something to campaign for along these lines.
"They haven't yet decided who's on the other side and who will be on the other side of this new plastic £50 note is an opportunity to seize. Seize the moment and put somebody on that note."