LONDON: The Liberal Democrats have called on the Home Secretary to set out what additional steps the Government is taking to prevent coronavirus-related hate crimes towards the Chinese community.
The call comes amid concerns about incidents of racially-motivated hate crimes against people in the Chinese community during the coronavirus pandemic, including a shocking 900% increase in content of that nature on Twitter.
In a letter to the Home Secretary from Christine Jardine MP, Daisy Cooper MP and Isabelle Parasram, Vice President of the Liberal Democrats, the Liberal Democrats have urged the Home Secretary to use her public platforms to “condemn this pernicious new form of racism.”
Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said: “Everyone should be free to live their lives without fear of discrimination, abuse or violence. Reports of Chinese people in the UK experiencing racist incidents linked to coronavirus are therefore deeply alarming.
“All of us with a public platform must stand up to those whose language spreads hate – whether on the basis of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or anything else. The Home Secretary must stand up and be counted by taking these concerns head on.”
Dr George Lee, speaking for the Chinese Liberal Democrats, added: “British Chinese contribute enormously to the wealth and well-being of this country. As citizens we should be afforded the same rights and respect as any other citizen to live our lives without fear or discrimination.
“We look to the UK Government, politicians, the media and other public figures to show leadership and set the right tone during this crisis not of our making.”
Diversity of media
Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to improve the diversity of
journalists and media outlets invited to pose questions to No. 10 spokespersons
“as a matter of priority.”
The call from Daisy Cooper, Liberal Democrats Spokesperson for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, has been supported by almost 50 Liberal Democrat parliamentarians, including Baroness Floella Benjamin and Lord Navnit Dholakia.
In a letter to the First Secretary of State, Dominic Raab, the parliamentarians raise concerns that, while there were extensive warnings to the public not to breach social distancing measures over the Easter, none were issued around Passover and none have yet been made about Ramadan.
Liberal Democrat MP Daisy Cooper said: “Whether they are doctors, nurses, care workers, public transport workers, delivery drivers or cleaning staff, people from BAME backgrounds are leading our country’s fight against COVID-19. This should be recognised, acknowledged and celebrated.
“There is an onus on Ministers to ensure they improve the diversity of journalists and media outlets invited to pose questions to No. 10 spokespersons, as a matter of priority. With Ramadan nowadays, Ministers must also ensure there are trusted and recognised messengers ensuring the public do not to breach social distancing measures,” he urged.