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Point of Order

Volume 687: debated on Thursday 21 January 2021

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I wonder whether I might seek your advice. During Women and Equalities questions last week, the Minister for Equalities told me that her first report

on the disproportionate impact of covid-19 on ethnic minority groups in October had concluded that there was no evidence suggesting that ethnicity itself is a risk factor. That is not correct and creates a false impression. The detail of workstream 3 of the four workstreams that form “Term of Reference 3” states:

“Further data, research and analysis on the above factors is needed to fully understand the disparities from COVID-19 to ethnic minorities.”

That is the point that I was making. It continues:

“In summary, the evidence shows an increased risk for Black and South Asian ethnic groups.”

How can the Minister correct the record in what is a really important area and a subject of great concern to many black and ethnic minority communities?

I am grateful to the hon. Member for her point of order and for giving me notice of her intention to raise the matter. I understand that she has also given notice to the Minister for Equalities, the hon. Member for Saffron Walden (Kemi Badenoch). I am sure that the hon. Lady was not implying in any way that there was any intention on the part of the Minister to give incorrect information. As she knows, I am not responsible for the accuracy or inaccuracy of anything that may have been said by Ministers from the Dispatch Box. I am sure that the Treasury Bench will have heard what she has had to say and that any Minister would come to the House as quickly as possible if they felt that any information had inadvertently been given that was inaccurate. She has made her concerns known to the House and I am sure that she will find other ways to pursue the matter as well.

I will suspend the House for two minutes to ensure that necessary arrangements are made for the next business.

Sitting suspended.