June 26, 2020 / 1:05 PM / 12 days ago

Johnson says Britain must break down barriers for Black people

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during the weekly question time debate in Parliament, in London, Britain, June 24, 2020, in this screen grab taken from video. Parliament TV/Reuters TV via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday that many Black and ethnic minority people felt they were discriminated against so the country had to break down barriers.

When asked if he believed there was insitutionalised racism in the British police, Johnson said: “I think the issue - and it has been really highlighed by the whole Black Lives Matter campaign - is that people unquestionably feel in their lives, Black and minority ethnic groups feel that there are barriers to them and to their success.

“And we need to break those down. It’s still true and it’s unacceptable. And we need to do all sorts of things to tackle it,” he said.

Johnson added that Britain had changed over the past decade and that the successes should also be spoken about.

“What we should also be doing is talking about some of the incredible success stories - the way things have changed just in the last ten years: many more Black and minority ethnic kids going to the top universities, many more young Black kids doing the top, the most difficult subjects in school and succeeding. You know, lets start talking about some of the successes as well.”

“But I in no way minise people’s sense of frustration and sense of discrimination - we have got to deal with it.”

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison

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