Labour MP responds to Craig Whittaker's comments about BAME and Muslim communities

Holly Lynch, MP for Halifax, has responded to Tory MP Craig Whittaker's comments about people from the BAME community breaking lockdown rules.

MPs Craig Whittaker and Holly Lynch.
MPs Craig Whittaker and Holly Lynch.

Last night the Government announced that people in Calderdale will no longer be allowed to meet with people from other households. This includes meeting in each other's homes and gardens or in public spaces like pubs.

During an interview with LBC host Ian Payne, Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker made comments about the Muslim, BAME, Asian and Immigrant population "not taking the pandemic seriously."

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He said: "What I have seen in my constituency is that there are sections of the community that are not taking the pandemic seriously."

Mr Payne then asked if he was talking about the Muslim community.

Mr Whittaker replied: "Of course. If you look at the areas where we've seen rises and cases, the vast majority - but not by any stretch of the imagination all areas - it is the BAME communities that are not taking this seriously enough.

"I've been challenging our local leaders for three weeks, asking what we are doing to target these areas to let people know that this is a very serious problem. Until people take it seriously, we're not going to get rid of this pandemic.

"We have areas of high multiple occupancy - when you have multiple families living in one household. It doesn't specifically have to be in the Asian community, but that is the largest proportion.

"Look at the areas. You've got Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees. Bradford and Kirklees have two of the largest populations in West Yorkshire."

The MP then confirmed that he was referring to the size of the "Immigrant and Asian population" of those areas.

Ms Lynch, MP for Halifax cited that Mr Whittaker's comments are "simply not true."

She said: "I speak to my local BAME community every day. We are all looking at packed beaches, mass football celebrations and excessive drinking on nights out with despair. That isn’t taking this seriously."