Don’t treat minorities as just one group, says think tank

Politicians should stop treating ethnic minorities as one homogeneous group and start appealing to the varied political views and concerns of non-white Britons, a new report argues.

Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities will make up almost a third of the UK population by 2050, according to the right-leaning think tank Policy Exchange.

In A Portrait Of Modern Britain it argues immigration from the Caribbean, the Indian subcontinent and Africa since the Second World War has resulted in diverse groups with widely differing opinions, experiences and traditions.

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It says politicians have failed to address these groups individually and says there are “clear and meaningful differences between each of these communities, which need to be fully understood” by policymakers.

Rishi Sunak, report co-author and head of Policy Exchange’s BME Research Unit, said: “These communities will continue to become an ever more significant part of Britain, especially in future elections.

“However, as our research demonstrates ethnic minorities are not one homogeneous political group.

“From education to employment, housing to trust in the police, politicians from all parties must understand the different issues affecting individual communities.”

The handbook draws on survey, census, academic and polling data to build up a detailed picture of the five largest minority groups in the UK – Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Black African and Black Caribbean.

The report highlights the importance of BME voters in years to come.

It says currently eight million people, or 14 per cent of the UK population, are from ethnic minorities. But the BME population now accounts for 80 per cent of growth and has doubled in the past decade when the white population has remained constant.

The report claims that with the exception of those with an African heritage, a majority of non-white Britons describe themselves as “British-only”.