London Pupils

MQT on 2008-11-12
Session date: 
November 12, 2008
Question By: 
Richard Barnbrook
British National Party
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


New figures show that over 60% of pupils in London are from a BAME group (78% in Inner London). With this in mind and considering the GLA's legal statutory duty to assist all ethnic minority groups in London, can the Mayor tell me what is being done to assist the white, British ethnic minority group in London?


Answer for London Pupils

Answer for London Pupils

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The question relates to the proportion of black or ethnic minority pupils in London and the question is whether the Office of the Mayor is going to be supporting pupils of all communities, in particular the white, British ethnic minority group. All I can say, frankly, Jennette, is that we, in this body, will work for children across London regardless of which ethnic group they come from.

Richard Barnbrook (AM): Right, well let me try to put it in another format. I will start off with something that you may understand and I will go into more details. If you plant, say, 100 trees' seeds and 70% of those are pears and 30% of those are apples, when the trees come to fruit you will find that you have 30% apples, 70% pears. I thought I would bring that analysis round.

What I am getting at here, and I think what London needs to know, is that with the changing demographics in such a way we cannot control who has children and who does not have children, I would like to know what stance you, the Mayor, and the GLA will actually take in trying to slow down this rapid replacement of the white, British population in London?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): You know, Jennette, I really do not think I can think of an answer to that question and I do not think I agree with that.

Jennette Arnold (Chair): You do not have to.

Richard Barnbrook (AM): Let me put it this way then; so you are quite happy to see the white indigenous population of London decrease at such a rate that in the future there may not be any white, British population? Is that what you are actually indicating by not giving an answer over?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): You know, I repeat that we, in this body, and everybody interested in kids across London is determined to work for young people of all communities. I think in this country and in this city we can be incredibly proud of the way by in large we have produced very harmonious relations between all communities and we are going to do our upmost to continue with that work in this body.

Richard Barnbrook (AM): Yes, OK, and I agree with that. The fact is I do not undermine the fact at all that the harmony and the diversity of London is its strength and its beauty, but it says quite clearly here in the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, 'Under the Race Relations Act, the Mayor and the GLA have a statutory duty to assist all ethnic minority groups in London.'

Can the Mayor tell me how many ethnic minority community groups the GLA funds and how many of these community groups are of the white, British ethnic minority?

Trevor Philips [Chairman, Equality and Human Rights Commission] made it quite clear - very, very clear - that parts of our community, especially those white, working class children, in education, are failing drastically. I would like to know what the GLA is doing to amend the problem and balance it out with the white community in parts of the boroughs in London becoming such a minority; I would like to know what support and what efforts are put into those locations to support the community and bring the community up to a level playing field?

For example, if I just mention a few of the black and ethnic minority groups - and remember before I actually finish this off, even in Barking and Dagenham the black and ethnic minority groups are saying to me, 'Something has got to happen. There is a balance laid down for the people that have been here for a period of time and they seem to be losing a hold on this.'; we have got the Sudanese, Chinese In Need; we have got the Somalian Parents and Children Play Association; the Thames Bangladeshi Association; the Afghanistan Asian Community Operations. Can you tell me one direct British - be it Welsh, Scottish, Irish, English - community group that is getting benefits from this community to uphold their situation of being minority groups within the community?

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Do you want an answer to that?

Jennette Arnold (Chair): No. Mr Mayor, I am going to be --

Richard Barnbrook (AM): Well, there goes the answer to that one. Thank you.

Jennette Arnold (Chair): -- quite clear here. Mr Barnbrook is out of time. I am just going to, for the record, read out the Greater London Act 1999, Section 404, and that states quite clearly that it is a requirement of this body 'to have regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity for all persons, irrespective of their race, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation or religion; to eliminate unlawful discrimination and to promote good relations' - Mr Barnbrook - 'between persons of different racial groups, religious beliefs and sexual orientation.'

That is the Act. We will now move on to the next question which is on Post Offices from Mr Cleverly.