None of us can have failed to have been moved by the outpouring of grief and distress in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd in the United States. A murder that is having huge repercussions across the world.
To build a better society we must stand together against racism and injustice and I am deeply concerned that the UK Government have to date failed to condemn the inflammatory statements and actions of the US President. Also, if British-made riot control equipment is being used to attack unarmed protesters and journalists in the US, these exports must immediately be stopped.
I’m pleased all Labour-led councils across the country have pledged to review all statues and commemorations and to listen and work with their local communities to assess the appropriateness of monuments sited on public land and council property. Now is the time for the Government to finally act on racial inequality. After years of ignored reports and recommendations, there can be no more excuses for inaction. The Government should start by acting on the report published by Public Health England into the disproportionate impact of Covid19 on ethnic minorities in this country. In addition, the damming reports into the Windrush scandal and treatment of ethnic minorities in the Criminal Justice System lie gathering dust. This lack of action adds to the suspicion that this is a Government that just doesn’t care.
Once again Lancashire’s Director for Public Health and Wellbeing has concluded that it is still not safe for all children to return to school. I desperately want to see all children back at school as soon as it can be done safely. But the Prime Minister has been too slow to put in a place a plan to safely extend the cohort of children in schools. There has been no leadership, no plan and no coherent strategy. This is mirrored in the Government’s wider failings on coronavirus. The Government must act now to provide additional support for children to learn over the summer. And it must extend free school meals over the summer period for all those who need it.