Post Office Horizon Scandal: Racism

Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon Excerpts
Monday 19th February 2024

(3 months, 4 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Offord of Garvel Portrait Lord Offord of Garvel (Con)
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I thank my noble friend for that. I have said at the Dispatch Box before that there will quite a lot of examination required following the Wyn Williams report. There are number of arm’s-length bodies that are set up to look like plcs but do not behave like plcs, largely because there has not been the challenge and the scrutiny typical of non-execs and from Ministers in terms of oversight. That is, I imagine, something which will be very much focused on following the Wyn Williams report.

Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon Portrait Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon (Lab)
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The Minister mentioned Wendy Williams as looking into the sub-postmasters. Is it the same Wendy Williams who looked into the Windrush scandal? The mere fact is that the Government took no notice of that and have not implemented anything there, so how is that going to work with this new thing around the Post Office scandal?

Lord Offord of Garvel Portrait Lord Offord of Garvel (Con)
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My understanding that the judge in this inquiry is Sir Wyn Williams. I will have to write and find out whether there is a connection to Windrush. I am afraid I am not aware of that.

Employment Gap: Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, and White, Workforce

Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon Excerpts
Thursday 29th June 2023

(11 months, 3 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Johnson of Lainston Portrait Lord Johnson of Lainston (Con)
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I am afraid that I was not able to hear the entirety of that question, but I will certainly follow up in more detail. On encouraging inclusion in entrepreneurship, in accessing banking services and in high-quality postgraduate education, the Government have paid specific attention in our Inclusive Britain report to ensuring that there is mentoring and specific funding—I believe that £70 million has been allocated specifically for a scholarship programme that will enable people to move into the right jobs that they want to seek—and that the barriers around class and culture are reduced to enable all students in this country to achieve their potential.

Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con)
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My Lords, there is plenty of time. We will hear from the noble Baroness, Lady Lawrence, followed by the noble Lord, Lord Green.

Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon Portrait Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon (Lab)
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My Lords, I will mention the disparity report that came out a couple of years ago. It put immigration, race relations, unemployment and education so much further back, so it is completely wrong to use it as something that is well known. Will the Minister focus on what the noble Baroness, Lady Thornton, was talking about, which is the contribution around education and employment that needs to be looked at, making sure that the disparity is forthcoming, and that employers understand that it is all about the earnings, not the report?

Lord Johnson of Lainston Portrait Lord Johnson of Lainston (Con)
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I am grateful to the noble Baroness for her comments. I hope that she understands the importance that the Government place on this. It is also worth looking at how companies—the FTSE 100 businesses and so on—are managing their own boards and make-up to provide the signal and leadership. By the time of the March 2023 report, 96% of the FTSE 100 had met the target to the end of 2022, which is an increase of 7% from 2021. In the FTSE 250, 59% of the companies had achieved their target ahead of their 2024 goal. This is following on from the Parker review. I think that this is extremely encouraging.

This is a priority for the Government. I have said very clearly that the estimated economic loss to the economy was between £20 billion and £30 billion. If I look at the different ethnic groups that make up some of the most successful businesses in this companies, for instance, the Indian ethnicity group is powering ahead. If any noble Lords have had a chance to read the Grant Thornton report that came out three weeks ago, they will see the enormous value of releasing the potential of different specific groups on the economy.