Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities are at risk of being disproportionately hit by the economic impact of Covid-19, Doreen Lawrence has warned.
Baroness Lawrence, Sir Keir Starmer’s race relations adviser, pointed to new analysis by Labour which suggests that inner city areas with much higher than average Black, Asian and minority ethnic populations have among the highest rates of furloughed staff.
Workers in these areas could be at a higher risk of redundancy later this year, the party warns.
Data from the House of Commons library shows that nine of the sixteen parliamentary constituencies with the highest take up rate of the furlough scheme also have much higher than average Black, Asian and minority ethnic populations.
They include Tottenham, in London, where the figures show half of the population is from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic community and 39% of those eligible have been furloughed.
Baroness Lawrence said: “This pandemic has already had a disproportionate impact on the health of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people in this country, and now there is mounting evidence that they will be hit hardest by the economic impact too.
“The government must support Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities by introducing a targeted extension of the furlough scheme for the hardest-hit sectors.
“If we are going to effectively address the disproportionate impact of covid 19 we must eradicate the systemic inequalities that it thrives on.”
In April Sir Keir appointed Baroness Lawrence as his race relations adviser and asked her to lead a review into the effect of coronavirus on black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.
The Labour peer, whose son Stephen Lawrence was killed as he waited at a bus stop in 1993, is expected to publish her report later this year.