Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Wednesday, November 17, 1999 Published at 13:30 GMT


UK Politics

Race bill disappoints campaigners

The death of Stephen Lawrence has prompted legal changes

The reform of the Race Relations Act, designed to target discrimination within public bodies, has been branded "disappointing" by the Commission for Racial Equality.

The outgoing chairman of the CRE, Sir Herman Ouseley, warned the government that it had passed up a unique opportunity to eradicate racial discrimination.

The Queen's Speech
The Race Relations (Ammendment) Bill, unveiled in the Queen's Speech, would allow racism in much-criticised institutions such as the Metropolitan Police to be tackled more effectively.

The bill would extend the Race Relations Act 1976 to make it unlawful for a public authority to discriminate directly in carrying out any of its functions.

It would also make chief police officers liable for racial discrimination committed by their officers. This would bring the police into line with other employers.

The new bill is a direct result of the recommendations made in the Macpherson report earlier this year into the killing of black teenager Stephen Lawrence.


[ image: Sir Herman Ouseley: Critical of the home secretary]
Sir Herman Ouseley: Critical of the home secretary
Sir Herman told the BBC: "By leaving out indirect discrimination, what the Lawrence Inquiry termed unwitting racism, we fear it will seriously weaken the ability of the CRE to help in tackling the very issues that report highlighted".

The CRE argues that the amended act would only cover direct discrimination rather than tackling indirect discrimination.

The CRE, the TUC and many other bodies have long been campaigning for new measures to combat racism in the workplace.

They want the government to introduce an enforceable duty on public bodies to combat racism and promote racial equality.

The CRE has the backing of Labour MP Oona King, who plans to retable a House of Commons Early Day Motion in support of the CRE's proposals.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


UK Politics Contents

A-Z of Parliament
Talking Politics
Vote 2001

Relevant Stories

23 Sep 99 | UK Politics
Straw slammed for failing Lawrence inquiry

13 Sep 99 | UK Politics
Race chief 'quit over Straw'

05 Jul 99 | UK Politics
Race equality targets set

23 Jun 99 | UK Politics
Labour race record attacked





Internet Links


The Macpherson Report - full text

Home Office

TUC

The Stephen Lawrence Family Campaign

Commission for Racial Equality


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Livingstone hits back

Catholic monarchy ban 'to continue'

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Straw on trial over jury reform

Blairs' surprise over baby

Conceived by a spin doctor?

Baby cynics question timing

Blair in new attack on Livingstone

Week in Westminster

Chris Smith answers your questions

Reid quits PR job

Children take over the Assembly

Two sword lengths

Industry misses new trains target