Tue, 15 June 2021

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Education
Coronavirus
By Sarah Atkinson
Coronavirus
Press releases

Labour say BAME coronavirus review ‘all the more urgent’ in wake of US George Floyd unrest amid reports of fresh delay

Labour say BAME coronavirus review ‘all the more urgent’ in wake of US George Floyd unrest amid reports of fresh delay

Labour’s Marsha de Cordova said ‘recent events make the release of this report all the more urgent’.

2 min read

Labour has said the publication of a review into the impact of coronavirus on black, asian and minority ethnic communities is “all the more urgent” amid unrest in the United States over the death of George Floyd.

The Department of Health on Monday night denied reports that the Public Health England review had been delayed in light of “global events”.

The review, commissioned by Health Secretary Matt Hancock in April, has been tasked with looking into why Covid-19 appeared to have a disproportionately high impact on BAME people.

Sky News cited a government source who said there were now concerns in Whitehall about the “close proximity to the current situation in America”, where unrest has erupted as protesters demand an end to police violence.

The source told the broadcaster: "The Government won't be able to put this out without concrete and solid next steps."

Responding to the report, a Department of Health spokesperson said: "Ministers received initial findings today (Monday). They are being rapidly considered and a report will be published this week.”

But they added: “It is not true to say this has been delayed due to global events."

However, Labour said it was “unacceptable that this review should be delayed without a given date for its publication”.

Shadow Women’s and Equalities Secretary Marsha de Cordova said: “BAME communities need answers.
 
"There is a gross irony in delaying the release of a report into the unequal suffering of the BAME community, on the basis of global events that relate to the suffering of black communities around the world.
 
"If anything, recent events make the release of this report all the more urgent. If the government is serious about tackling racial injustice, they should not be shying away from understanding into why these injustices exist."

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