News | Published June 27 2020

Shadow justice secretary accuses PM of misleading Parliament over his racial inequalities review

Shadow justice secretary David Lammy has accused prime minister Boris Johnson of misleading MPs over the government’s response to his review into the treatment of ethnic minority individuals within the UK criminal justice system.

Speaking in the Commons during Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, the PM claimed that the government had already implemented 16 of the 35 recommendations put forward by the Lammy Review, which was published in September 2017.

Johnson said: “Sixteen of the Lammy recommendations have been implemented. A further 17 are in progress; two of them we are not progressing.”

Justice minister Alex Chalk also delivered the same response to a written question in Parliament earlier this week.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice said in a statement: "We set out our action plan in response to the Lammy Review in December 2017.

"We have completed the actions we committed to for 16 of the recommendations, and actions for a further 17 will be completed within 12 months."

However, Lammy has since claimed that just six recommendations listed in his report have been followed up on and wrote to Johnson asking him to confirm that his statement during Wednesday’s session was inaccurate.

Lammy says that some clear recommendations have not been implemented at all, including suggestions that all sentencing remarks within Crown Courts are published either in writing or audio form, and that youth offender panels are renamed.

In his letter to the prime minister, Lammy said that the government “needs to be honest about the actions it has taken” if it is to be genuine in its efforts to crack down on injustice.

Lammy also wrote that the PM’s statement on Wednesday misled the Commons, which contravenes parliamentary regulations. A copy of the letter has also been addressed to the house speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

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Authored by

Alexander Bridge-Wilkinson
Junior Editor
June 27 2020

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