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'Black people more likely to be in prison than at a top university'- David Cameron

'Black people more likely to be in
prison than at a top university'-
David Cameron
Universities will be forced by law to disclose what
proportion of ethnic minority applicants get places,
David Cameron has announced as part of a
concerted Government anti-discrimination drive.
The Prime Minister said the transparency rules
should prompt institutions such as Oxford to work
harder to broaden their intake and warned the
police, the courts and the armed forces they also
had to act.
Education chiefs have been summoned to Downing
Street on Monday for talks with Business Secretary
Sajid Javid to discuss why young black men are
more likely to be in prison than studying at a top
university.
It comes as Mr Cameron has hired a leading black
Labour MP to investigate whether the police and
court system is racially biased.
David Lammy will lead a sweeping review into why
black people are more likely to be in prison than at
a top university, and why black criminals are given
harsher sentences than white offenders.
Mr Lammy’s review is expected to report on his
findings and recommend reforms to the Ministry of
Justice in the spring of next year.
Mr Cameron said:
“If you’re black, you’re more likely to be in a
prison cell than studying at a top university.
And if you’re black, it seems you’re more
likely to be sentenced to custody for a crime
than if you’re white. We should investigate
why this is and how we can end this
possible discrimination.
"Only one in 10 of the poorest white boys go
into higher education at all.
"There are no black generals in our armed
forces and just 4 per cent of chief executives
in the FTSE 100 are from ethnic minorities.
"What does this say about modern Britain?
Are these just the symptoms of class
divisions or a lack of equal opportunity? Or
is it something worse - something more
ingrained, institutional and insidious?"
The UK had come a long way, he added, "but there
is much more to do, and these examples I mention
should shame our country and jolt us to action".
"I don't care whether it's overt, unconscious
or institutional - we've got to stamp it out,"
he added, warning it would otherwise only
"feed those who preach a message of
grievance and victimhood".
Mr Cameron rejected what he called "politically
correct, contrived and unfair solutions" such as
quotas but said it was "striking" that Oxford's 2014
intake of more than 2,500 included only 27 black
students.
"I know the reasons are complex, including
poor schooling, but I worry that the
university I was so proud to attend is not
doing enough to attract talent from across
our country," he said.
The new rules will require routine publication of
data on applicants, broken down by course,
gender, ethnicity and socio-economic background.
His intervention is likely to further fuel protests by
some students at Oxford over the refusal to remove
a statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes from the
front of Oriel college they say represents racism
and oppression.
Mr Cameron said public institutions needed to "dig
deeper", warning he also intended action to
eradicate "the stubborn problem of under-
representation in our police and armed forces".
"It's not enough to simply say you are open
to all. Ask yourselves: are you going that
extra mile to really show people that yours
can be a place for everyone, regardless of
background?"
Mr Lammy, who wrote a book on the 2011 riots
that were sparked by the killing of a black man by
the police in his Tottenham constituency, has been
tasked with rooting out the causes of "disgraceful"
gulfs in sentencing treatment.
"It's disgraceful that if you're black, it seems
you're more likely to be sentenced to
custody for a crime than if you're white," the
PM said.
"We should investigate why this is and how
we can end this possible discrimination.
That's why I have asked David Lammy MP to
lead a review of the over-representation of
BME communities in the criminal justice
system.
"And this will include possible sentencing
and prosecutorial disparity."

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