Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer supports Dawn Butler MP with a call to take racial profiling ‘seriously’

PUBLISHED: 16:46 10 August 2020

Labour leader Keir Starmer. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA.

Labour leader Keir Starmer. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

The Labour leader has come out in support of Dawn Butler MP who was stopped by police while in a car saying “racial profiling must be taken seriously” by the Met.

Dawn Butler, Labour MP for Brent Central.Dawn Butler, Labour MP for Brent Central.

Sir Keir Starmer said it is “imperative that the Black community have trust and confidence” in the police and that abuse the Brent Central MP has received over social media “condemned”.

Ms Butler was a passenger in a BMW driven by a black friend in the streets of Hackney on Sunday (August 8), when they were stopped by Metropolitan Police officers on blue lights.

Sir Keir tweeted: “I reached out yesterday to @DawnButlerBrent to discuss the incidence she reported and to offer our support. All allegations of racial profiling must be taken extremely seriously by the Metropolitan police.”

He added: “It is imperative that the Black community have trust and confidence in our police. The abuse Dawn has received over social media is wrong and must be condemned.”

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Met police said the stop was the result of an officer having “incorrectly entered” the registration number into a computer to wrongly identify it as a vehicle registered to Yorkshire, but did not explain why the search was carried out.

Diane Collymore, BAME officer for Brent Central Labour Group, said: “I am appalled at the way the Metropolitan Police has use Section 60 to stop Dawn Butler MP in Broad day light for driving a nice car in the Hackney area.

She added: “Many Black people are being the target by this racist element that s60 carries especially young black men and women of professional ability driving new cars that they have worked for.

No police can make such a mistake by asking what have you got in the back of your car or it is illegal to have tinted windows.”

She said the group is “outraged and concerned” that had Ms Butler not been a Black MP she “would have been arrested and placed in custody by the officers who had stopped her”.

She added: “This is an ongoing occurrence for many Black people in the UK to be stopped and search. This element of s60 is to embarrassed and make Black people feel as second-class citizens in the UK.”

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