London: Munira Mirza, who was a deputy mayor for Boris Johnson, the new Prime Minister of Britain, throughout his time at City Hall, has been recruited to be head of Number 10’s policy unit, Tory sources said.
According to the guardian.com she was a prominent critic of Theresa May’s racial disparities audit for public services, saying the “scene was being set for another bout of political self-flagellation regarding the subject of race in Britain”.
Mirza, whose family came to the UK from Pakistan, criticised the Labour MP David Lammy’s 2017 review of racism in the criminal justice system, which was commissioned by David Cameron and supported by May.
She said it was an example of how “astonishingly, it seems that a lot of people in politics think it’s a good idea to exaggerate the problem of racism”.
She disputed his view, and that of May, that the criminal justice system treats black people more harshly than white people, arguing that social and economic reasons lie behind the higher proportions of BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic persons) people in prison – not institutional racism.
Mirza wrote: “Paradoxically, just at the point when racist attitudes were declining in society and many ethnic groups were integrating successfully, our political leaders became obsessed with racism … The tragedy is that accusations of institutional racism — and their official endorsement — have corroded BAME communities’ trust in public services, thereby making things worse.”
Last summer, Mirza defended Johnson’s controversial article that likened women in burqas to letterboxes and has been a long-term critic of multiculturalism as a policy choice.
“There are many people in this country who are uncomfortable about the burqa. When people argue we should use more sensitive language what they are really saying is let’s not be critical at all, let’s not offend, let’s not criticise this practice because it upsets Muslims,” she said.