British PM orders major race equality audit

London, Aug 27 (PTI) British Prime Minister Theresa May today announced a major audit into how people from different backgrounds are treated by the country's public services, a review which is aimed at highlighting racial and socio-economic disparities.

"The government I lead will stand up for you and your family against injustice and inequality," May said.

"Today I am launching an audit to look into racial disparities in our public services that stretches right across government. It will highlight the differences in outcomes for people of different backgrounds, in every area from health to education, childcare to welfare, employment, skills and criminal justice.

"This audit will reveal difficult truths but we should not be apologetic about shining a light on injustices as never before. It is only by doing so we can make this country work for everyone not just a privileged few."

The review will be conducted by a new unit within the UK's Cabinet Office and has been described by Downing Street as "unprecedented" in its scope and transparency, enabling the public to hold public services to account and force improvements.

The review will be published within a year and updated annually after that to cover health, education, employment, welfare, skills and criminal justice across the UK.

Ben Gummer, a Cabinet Office minister, will oversee the 'Racial Disparities Audit' alongside communities minister Sajid Javid.

In her speech on the steps of Downing Street when she took charge as Prime Minister last month, May had pledged that the government she leads will "work for everyone".

She announced the review as her first major announcement after returning from a Swiss summer holiday this week.

A recent report by the UK's Equality and Human Rights Commission had found racial inequality remained "entrenched" in Britain and that black graduates earn on average 23 per cent less than white ones and are far more likely to be unemployed.

Black women were found to be seven times more likely to be detained under mental health laws than white women.

PTI