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Theresa May vows to tackle race inequality in the United Kingdom, releases data

Theresa May vows to tackle race inequality in the United Kingdom, releases data

Significant differences in the life outcomes of British ethnic minority and white people revealed in the Government's racial disparity audit have prompted Theresa May to urge institutions to help ensure race is never a barrier.

The first national survey of its kind found huge gulfs in experience of health, housing and education, which also varied based on geography.

"Pupils from Chinese and Indian backgrounds showed high attainment and progress throughout their school careers and high rates of entry to university Indian pupils were much more likely to meet expected standards and make progress than Pakistani pupils", it adds.

Attempting to relaunch that agenda, May will publish the findings of a "Race Disparity Audit", which will not, she says, come as a surprise to many.

British white groups also fall behind in some instances, with white British pupils on school meals less likely to reach the expected standard at Key Stage 2 than any other ethnic group and white teenagers more likely to be smokers than black teenagers.

Just over one fifth of white people in the region are categorised as economically inactive compared to more than one third of other ethnic groups.

Ethnic minorities are underrepresented at senior levels across Britain's public sector.

The revelations are just a small snapshot of data to be released by the Government on its new Ethnicity Facts and Figures website on Tuesday.

Theresa May warned there would be "nowhere to hide" ahead of the publication of the Government's first "race disparity audit".

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She will say "these issues are now out in the open" and that the collection of data provides "definitive evidence" of the challenges the United Kingdom still faces to "build a country that works for everyone".

The website was commissioned by Theresa May when she became Prime Minister, and will be launched to challenge society to "explain or change" the racial inequalities it unearths.

According to Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, the data would not provide the answers to why disparity existed, but said the government wanted to work with outside groups to come up with ways it could tackle the injustice.

Black men were also the group most likely to have a drug dependency, while black women had a higher expectancy to suffer from mental ill health.

"If the Prime Minister really feels so strongly about this issue, why did she sit on this report and refuse to share it with Parliament - despite Labour asking her to publish it three months ago?"

The Equality and Human Rights Commission meanwhile called for a "comprehensive and coherent race equality strategy" from the Government.

Simon Woolley, director of Operation Black Vote, said: "Yes, some findings make uncomfortable reading, but unless these things are laid bare we can't begin to resolve them".

■ Of all applicants shortlisted for NHS jobs in England, white candidates were more likely to be appointed - some 18 per cent of whites shortlisted got the job compared with 11 per cent of ethnic minorities.