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At 8pm, I’m debating race on @ITV. Here’s what I’ll say.

I believe in equality of opportunity. It’s the reason behind London’s success.

Equality isn’t about defunding police or ending capitalism. It’s about unlocking the potential of every Londoner, black and white.
The more chances we all have, the better our city becomes.

Opportunity is the route out of poverty, the route out of crime.

I know this. I was a youth worker for 20 years. When you give people opportunity, they thrive. Because at the end of the day, we all want the same things.
When Stephen Lawrence was murdered, Britain was a different place.

To people of colour, Stephen’s murder was upsetting and scary. But it wasn’t shocking.

Racism was more acceptable back then. Racist violence was all too common.

What that shocked us was the police response.
While the majority of police were good, the ones who conducted the murder investigation did a shoddy job.

They failed to bring Stephen’s murderers to justice, they ignored evidence, they spied on the Lawrence family, and a subsequent report found racism to be the cause.
Thankfully, things have improved.

In 2010, just 9.3% of London’s police were BAME. Now 15% of London’s police are BAME.

In 2009, just 55% of British people strongly disagreed with the statement: ‘to be truly British, you have to be white’. Now 84% strongly disagree.
We’re a more welcoming, tolerant, open country. And that’s good for everyone, no matter what colour we are or what background we have.

Our aim should be to build on that, not tear it down. That’s what I’ll be saying on ITV at 8pm.

I hope you’ll tune in. #hasbritainchanged
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