October 9, 2017 / 9:35 PM / a year ago

Seeking to relaunch social agenda, UK's May to address racial disparity

LONDON (Reuters) - Ethnic minorities in Britain have a lower employment rate than white people and are under-represented in senior public sector jobs, Prime Minister Theresa May will say on Tuesday, releasing the findings of a government audit on racial disparity.

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May holds up a cough sweet after suffering a coughing fit whilst addressing the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, October 4, 2017. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Bogged down by Brexit and a botched snap election since taking control of the ruling Conservative party last July, May has struggled to deliver on social reforms to tackle what she has called “burning injustices” that exist in Britain.

Attempting to relaunch that agenda, May will publish the findings of a “Race Disparity Audit”, which will not, she says, come as a surprise to many.

“People who have lived with discrimination don’t need a government audit to make them aware of the scale of the challenge,” May will say according to extracts of remarks due to be delivered at a launch event on Tuesday.

“But this audit means that for society as a whole – for government, for our public services – there is nowhere to hide. These issues are now out in the open. And the message is very simple: if these disparities cannot be explained then they must be changed.”

The data covering 130 topics including health, education, employment and the criminal justice system will be made publicly available on a website, with new datasets being added over time. May will describe it as an “essential resource in the battle to defeat ethnic injustice”.

Reporting by William James; Editing by Jeremy Gaunt

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