The focus on the needs of white working class in the aftermath of the Brexit vote has led politicians to neglect the needs of a growing ethnic minority population across the north of England, the authors of a report by the Runnymede Trust and the University of Leeds warned.
“Deep racial and ethnic inequalities” were not being adequately addressed by existing plans to boost economic growth in the region, such as the “northern powerhouse”. And they argued that most discussions of the northern working class in the media and political debates since Brexit had left out minority groups who have lived in the region for decades.
“Ethnic minorities have been part of working class communities in the north since postwar migration,” said co-author Omar Khan, director of the Runnymede Trust. “They should not be forgotten or ignored in current political and media coverage of ‘working class communities’.”
Some local authorities are failing in their statutory duties under the Equality Act if they fail to address discrepancies between various ethnic groups.
The report highlighted the increase in hate crimes, with the north of England accounting for around a third of all hate crime taking place in England and Wales. Last year, nearly 29,000 reported incidents of hate crime took place in the region, an increase of around 6,000 from 2017.